Otago Daily Times

Call for Ti­wai de­ci­sion

Can­ings, a drunk teacher froth­ing at the mouth and il­licit smok­ing were among the memories which came flood­ing back as a group of Gore High School pupils vis­ited their old school build­ings one last time. For­mer pupils Wat­tie Gee, Ron Hargest, Dorothy Dodd

- Business · Rio Tinto Group · Grant Robertson

South­land: South­land may­oral fo­rum chair­man, Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks is urg­ing the Govern­ment and Rio Tinto to come to an ar­range­ment in re­la­tion to the fu­ture of Ti­wai.

Mr Hicks spoke to Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Grant Robert­son this week to stress the ur­gency of a deal on the smelter by De­cem­ber for an ex­tended life for the smelter.

Mr Robert­son told Mr Hicks he had in­structed his of­fi­cials to make it a key pri­or­ity.

‘‘I was told the Govern­ment is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing the South­land econ­omy and its peo­ple to cre­ate new jobs and in­dus­tries, ’’ Mr Hicks said.

Rio Tinto an­nounced in July it would close the plant near Bluff in Au­gust 2021 af­ter it con­ducted a strate­gic re­view which showed the busi­ness was ‘‘no longer vi­able given high energy costs and a chal­leng­ing out­look for the alu­minium in­dus­try’’.

Rio Tinto has said the deal needed to be done by Christmas to pre­vent clo­sure.

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