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It’s Not Too Late - Govt Can Save Marsden Point By Partnering On A Just Transition

Refining NZ have this morning confirmed that around 100 jobs will be cut as the first part of its Strategic Review concludes, but FIRST Union says that it isn’t too late to save more jobs, assets and infrastructure while transitioning to cleaner and greener operations if the Government are serious about a Just Transition for Marsden Point.

"Today’s announcement represents the first confirmed job losses on the way to a possible importing model for the refinery, where operations would refocus on bringing fuel through from overseas rather than refining it in Northland at Marsden Point," said Justin Wallace, FIRST Union organiser.

"It’s also a warning sign that the company and producers really are serious about going down this track, which I know many workers think would be a disaster and a missed opportunity to partner with the Government on a sustainable future that kept the community alive."

"There has been real interest in a range of cleaner and greener energy proposals like biofuels and green hydrogen, and there are opportunities on the horizon to redeploy existing assets - we shouldn’t lose them now."

Marsden Point was also highlighted in the Wood Fibre Futures Stage One report as potentially important infrastructure in a domestic fuel industry based on wood fibre that could be exported internationally.

"One of those existing assets is the workforce at Marsden Point, which is made up of highly-skilled New Zealanders who have expert knowledge in science and technology."

"No one is under any illusion - the sun is setting on fossil fuels, and the Covid-19 pandemic has altered market demand for aviation and other fuels. It’s inevitable that things need to change at Marsden Point immediately."

"But now is the time to be brave and invest in these communities rather than cut jobs and give in to what we assume is inevitable."

"Now is the time to live up to the rhetoric of climate change being an opportunity as well as a disaster, because that is precisely the situation at Marsden Point right now - it’s not too late."

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