The Illawarra’s steel industry needs more action not just more talk at today’s steel industry procurement roundtable.
The Berejiklian Government used tricky Parliamentary tactics to avoid voting on Labor’s bill to help secure a sustainable steel industry and as a result our community and steel worker expectations for today’s roundtable are very high.
Illawarra State Labor MP’s have set three tests for today’s steel industry procurement roundtable if the Government continues to ignore community demands to mandate the use of at least 90 per cent Australian made steel in State infrastructure projects.
At a minimum today’s steel industry procurement roundtable must resolve that the NSW Government will immediately:
- Appoint a Steel Industry Advocate, based in Wollongong, to ensure that new standards and certification for Australian-made steel use is monitored and complied with.
- Implement a ‘whole of life’ assessment of steel use in major infrastructure projects during the procurement process.
- Publicly report the percentage of Australian steel used in every NSW Government project in real time and introduce a requirement for an annual update to the NSW Parliament outlining the reasons why any project did not use at least 90 per cent Australian made steel.
If the NSW Government fails to agree to at least these steps then it will be obvious to everyone in the Illawarra that they are simply not serious about securing a future for our steel industry and today’s meeting was just another empty talkfest.
Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully, is the only one of the region’s Labor MP’s to have been invited to today’s roundtable.
Comments attributable to Ryan Park MP:
“After Gareth Ward employed every trick in the Parliamentary cheap tricks playbook to avoid voting against Labor’s steel bill recently he needs to deliver real policy and real solutions for our steel industry today.
“If today’s roundtable turns into nothing more than a talkfest all that we can conclude is the Berejiklian Government simply does not care about a sustainable future for our steel industry and its workers.”
Comments attributable to Anna Watson MP:
“The region received a kick in the guts when the Government used tricky Parliamentary tactics to avoid voting against a mandate for local steel so they had better deliver some iron-clad commitments today.
“Anything less is a slap in the face to every steelworker who have taken a cut to their own wages to support the industry.
“We want more action and less talk from Gareth Ward and the NSW Government when it comes to supporting our steel industry.”
Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:
“Introducing a ‘whole of life’ assessment and a Steel Industry Advocate is the bare minimum that our community expects from today’s talks.
“We want to see real plans and immediate implementation – there is too much on the line for the steel industry for the Government to try and dodge this issue again.
“We are proud of our local steel and we want it used in every road, bridge, school and hospital in the state – anything less is a betrayal of the Illawarra.”