Interview with ABC Illawarra About Saving Steel

JOURNALIST: Obviously the workers have voted to keep BlueScope Steel open. The company is going to confirm that tomorrow, it is a given. But for the long-term interest, anti-dumping is such a big issue. Why does it affect our local industry so much?

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STEPHEN JONES, MEMBER FOR THROSBY: Well, we were here today at Bisalloy. They have taken three cases to the Anti-Dumping Commission in recent times, they have won all three of them only to see the people they have beaten in court circumvent those rules and get around the judgments of the Anti-Dumping Commission. We need to tighten up these rules, fix the timelines and ensure there are appropriate penalties in place. We also need to cut down on the loopholes which enable people who are breaking the law to get around the court’s decision.

JOURNALIST: We did see the Anti-Dumping Commission get some strength in powers recently. What else can we do?

JONES: There are a couple of things that need to be done. Staff the Commission appropriately so that they can deal with things in a timely manner. Secondly, look at this thing called the “lesser duty rule”; this is a situation where a business will win the case but the Minister is required to put in place a lesser penalty than would otherwise apply. This means they really get no relief. The third thing they need to do is close down the loopholes, which enable these dumping companies who have a case awarded against them coming back in and circumventing the judgment.

JOURNALIST: We saw a lot of action around the steel industry when BlueScope did announce that there was a very real threat that the steelworks would close. A lot of people are going to take the foot off the pedal now that we know that the steelworks are going to stay. How essential is it that we do keep this pressure on and do act soon?

JONES: This is no time to take the foot off the pedal. What we have here is an opportunity to restore manufacturing in this country. That means not only looking after BlueScope, but looking after the downstream fabricators and processors as well. That is why I am here today at Bisalloy. This is a great company that exports steel all around the world; they provide hardened steel for deference purposes and they are hoping to win new contracts for submarines. This is just the sort of company where the odds shouldn’t be stacked against them. 

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