Today’s announcement that a Shorten Labor Government will secure more than 3,500 jobs through a targeted investment in Arrium shows that only Labor has a plan for a strong steel future for Australia.
BlueScope and Arrium play a complementary role – with Whyalla supplying long products such as rail track for the building industry and BlueScope producing the flat products like plate and Colorbond as well as hot rolled coil.
If Arrium goes under it leaves a massive hole in the domestic market that will be filled by overseas producers who will inevitably seek to supply every part of the market. If we are to remain a steel producing nation we need to produce the full range of products through efficient plans at competitive prices.
Today Bill Shorten announced that a Shorten Labor Government will work with the South Australian Government to establish a joint Steel Reserve to support Arrium to make specific investments that secure its long-term future.
Labor will provide $100 million in targeted grants and financing as part of the Steel Reserve, with the South Australian Government providing an additional $50 million.
This will ultimately see up to $300 million invested in a new plant and equipment to make Arrium more productive and efficient, while securing thousands of local jobs.
It follows Labor’s six point Plan for Australian Metals and Manufacturing Jobs, announced at the Port Kembla steelworks in April this year.
Under Labor’s plan we will maximise locally produced steel in government infrastructure projects and ensure Australia’s anti-dumping system has the right powers and penalties in place.
Meanwhile, Christopher Pyne has not even visited the Illawarra steelworks to meet with local workers.
Labor will deliver this investment in Arrium and our six-point plan because we believe in strong local industries that protect existing jobs and create new ones.
When Labor was last in Government we established a $300 million Steel Transformation Plan because we understand the important of retaining a steel industry in Australia and BlueScope was a major beneficiary.
For more information on Labor’s plan to support Arrium and protect local jobs, visit:http://www.100positivepolicies.org.au/local_steel_local_jobs_fact_sheet.