If Alcoa accepts the bail-out, it is thought that job losses at Port Henry will be in the region of 60 and that suppliers and contractors adversely affected by Alcoa’s planned cost-cutting measures will also be compensated by the Australian Government.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has accused Abbott of conducting a misleading campaign to discredit the Government’s planned carbon tax, which comes into force on Sunday 1 July.

Greg Hunt, shadow climate action spokesman, has pointed out that the Government’s bail-out package ‘almost perfectly matches’ what Alcoa will pay in carbon taxes over the next two years.

In February this year Alcoa announced a review of the Port Henry smelter in response to the collapse of global aluminium prices and the strength of Australian dollar. announced a review of the plant.