Labor's Positive Plan To Secure Australian Metals Manufacturing And Jobs

15 April 2016

A Shorten Labor Government will delivera six-point plan to secure the future of strategically significant metals manufacturing industries including steel-making in Australia.


Labor'sPlan for Australian Metals Manufacturing and Jobswill ensure astrong future for Australias metal industries - one where we grow jobs instead of seeing them slip away as is happening on Malcolm Turnbulls watch.

Steel is a strategically significant industry for Australia. We must not become the only advanced economy in the world to let our steel industry die.

Being an advanced economy that can make things here at home means ensuring Australias strategic industries have a sustainable future.

To secure the long-term future of our local metal industries, we need to make smart use of the opportunities in front of us and build on Australias natural strengths.

A Shorten Labor Government will:

  • ensure Australian standards are upheld in Federal Government funded projects and support local producers meet certification standards

  • seek to maximise the use of locally-produced steel in Federal Government funded projects and put in place regular reporting of usage levels

  • halve the thresholds for projects required to have an Australian Industry Participation Plans from $500 million down to $250 million for private projects, and from $20 million to $10 million for public projects.

  • double funding for the Australian Industry Participation Authority and appoint an AIP Board

  • ensure Australias anti-dumping system has the right powers and penalties in place

  • create a national Steel Supplier Advocate

Labor will start delivering ourPlan for Australian Metals Manufacturing and Jobswithin 100 days of forming office, with the creation of the Metals Manufacturing Innovation Council.

The Council will bring together representatives from industry, unions and state governments, and work closely with the Federal Labor Government to deliver our plan.

Our plan acknowledges that Australias local steel industry is now under significant pressure. Low international prices, high-cost raw materials, the dumping of products from overseas and weak domestic demand are all challenging its long-term viability.

Other metal industries are facing the same challenges. For example, Australias aluminium industry is also being squeezed by low international prices and significant industry restructuring.

These industries will also benefit from lower thresholds for Australian Industry Participation Plans, better anti-dumping rules and having a direct line to Government through the Metals Manufacturing Innovation Council.

Labor has developed our plan by listening to industry and being willing to take action on the practical challenges holding our metal industries back.

On the other hand, the Turnbull Government talks a lot about the future of these industries but has refused to act.

Earlier this week, Mr Turnbull said that on his visit to China he wont even raise the issue of excess capacity which the OECD has said is one of the most significant challenges facing the global steel industry today.

Unlike Mr Turnbull and the Liberals, we wont just talk about keeping these industries strong for the future; Labor will act to make sure they will be.

More information about LaborsPlan for Australian Metals Manufacturing and Jobsis available