Labor welcomes the announcement today that BlueScope Steel, its employees and unions have reached a memorandum of understanding for reform of the Port Kembla Steelworks.
Both BlueScope and the unions have shown that they have been able to make tough decisions to keep the Port Kembla steelworks operating and over 4,500 people employed.
The Industry Minister, Christopher Pyne, must outline how the Turnbull Liberal Government will ensure steel manufacturing continues in the Illawarra.
The former Minister Ian Macfarlane already held a roundtable in September. Australian steel workers cannot afford for Mr Pyne's meeting to be just another talkfest when their jobs are on the line.
What the steel industry in the Illawarra needs now is action.
There are already over 9,500 people looking for work in the region and the Turnbull Liberal Government is doing nothing to prevent this number from growing.
Labor is committed to the steel industry and we will work constructively with all levels of government to keep the industry strong.
Local Labor MPs Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones last month presented Labor’s plan for steel manufacturing and regional Illawarra jobs:
- Properly resource the Anti-Dumping Commission
- A guaranteed commitment to the Australian Jobs Act
- A commitment for Government to work with industry on procurement
- Support for retrenched workers with the reinstatement of the Illawarra Local Employment Coordinator.
- Preparing the region and businesses for the jobs of the future with infrastructure like the NBN.
- The Turnbull Liberal Government must announce its plan for Australian steel and stop wasting precious time while jobs are on the line.
Labor will fight to keep high-skilled, high-wage steel making jobs in Australia and will continue to hold the Liberals to account for their callous approach to manufacturing jobs.