Aust-Pac Aluminium Pty Ltd is currently considering Australian sites for the construction of an aluminium smelter to be in operation by 2002. It will have an estimated initial annual value of production of over $1 billion. The company’s initial interest was centred on Lithgow in New South Wales. Towards this end, it commissioned both the Centre for Agricultural and Regional Economics (CARE) and the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) to undertake studies of the anticipated economic benefits to the Regional, State and the National economy from an expanded aluminium industry. The company chose to commission more than one study to avoid the danger of the merits of the project being seen as overly reliant upon one economic model and hence one particular set of assumptions. While there were differences between their results, both studies reported major net benefits to the New South Wales economy, and the NIEIR research was also able to identify additional and substantial benefits to the national economy. The differences in results that did surface were largely due to variations in the focus of the models, rather than an
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