Illawarra MPs Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones have welcomed the Industry Minister Christopher Pyne’s sudden interest in government procurement policies for Australian steel but warned that he needs to get his own house in order.
Yesterday, Mr Pyne urged the New South Wales Government to follow the lead of South Australia, which seeks to maximise the use of steel from Australian-standard certified fabricators and mills for government construction projects.
Sharon Bird said that the Turnbull Government needs to stop talking about what other governments should be doing and start putting in place real solutions.
“What Bill Shorten today is exactly right - there are measures which the federal Government could put in place which will assist a sustainable future for steel manufacturing in Australia.
“If Mr Pyne thinks that the South Australian model is working, why isn’t he looking at similar schemes where federal money is involved?
“Just what is he planning to do? The Government’s review into anti-dumping won’t be ready in April and until then he seems quite prepared to sit on his hands and do nothing.”
Stephen Jones said that the Government was still missing in action when it comes to steel.
“We learnt this week from the Illawarra Business Chamber’s submission to federal inquiry into The future of Australia’s steel industry, that a strong local steel industry makes economic sense.
“Christopher Pyne still hasn’t visited the Illawarra and he still hasn’t proposed a plan for putting steel at the front of the queue for government infrastructure projects.
“On top of that he still hasn’t guaranteed the future of Australian Industry Participation Plans, which were introduced by Labor to encourage companies to spend more on local supplies of steel and other products.”