Illawarra MPs Stephen Jones and Sharon Bird have called on the Turnbull Government to act decisively to secure the future of Australian steel.
Late on Friday afternoon the Government finally released the Anti-Dumping Commission’s report into the impact of overseas steel on the nation’s steel industry.
Stephen Jones said that the release of the report only came about due to sustained pressure from Labor.
“When it comes to anti-dumping measures to secure Australia’s steel industry the Government has stuck it’s head in the sand and wanted the entire issue to go away.
“They only put this report out because of sustained pressure from Labor and the Australian Steel Industry. Even then they waited until very late on a Friday afternoon so that their inaction would be hidden from scrutiny.
“This report was presented to then Industry Minister Christopher Pyne on 4 April this year. It has since grown cobwebs while the Government switched to yet another Industry Minister.
“In government Labor strengthened our anti-dumping and countervailing system and established the International Trade Remedies Forum to provide advice on anti-dumping matters. Our 2012 package of reforms showed that we were listening and more importantly willing to act. The Coalition need to show some leadership and act decisively.”
Sharon Bird said that the proposals arising from Friday’s International Trade Remedies Forum should also be considered by the Government.
“Nothing should be off the table, the Coalition needs to take some responsibility and act to ensure Australian steel survives.
“Our anti-dumping system is vital to the maintenance of fair trade for our domestic producers. But industries like steel can’t thrive when goods from overseas are dumped onto the Australian market and when overseas exporters try to circumvent our anti-dumping rules.
“The Liberals haven’t done anything, they need to act. Workers at the Port Kembla steelworks, just like workers in trade-exposed industries across Australia, deserve a government that is fighting for them.”
Labor will review the recommendations of the Anti-Dumping Commission and seek advice from industry and unions.