QAL has confirmed the worst kept secret in Gladstone - jobs will be cut at the refinery.
The news is no surprise, as the difficulties facing the aluminium/alumina industry have been a hot topic this year.
The announcement could be a blow to morale in the Gladstone community, which has seen QAL as a strong source of employment for more than four decades.
QAL management used the dreaded R-word yesterday.
It said plans were in place to "restructure" its operations.
"The aluminium structure in Australia is facing extremely difficult market conditions due to a high exchange rate, higher costs of production, low metal process and new taxes," QAL chairman Armando Torres said.
Those last two words, "new taxes," could be the most critical as far as politicians are concerned.
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd and his coalition colleagues have claimed the carbon tax will decimate the aluminium industry, traditionally the biggest employer in Gladstone.
QAL said the restructure would involve a reduction in the number of support roles across the site.
It said no "front line roles" would be made redundant.
"This is a challenging time for QAL. We will work hard to protect jobs wherever possible and we are committed to ensuring that all affected employees are treated fairly."