Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast Gareth Ward was sidelined from leading the Government’s response to the introduction of the Steel Industry Protection Bill this morning.
Mr Ward even failed to appear on the floor of the House to support the Parliamentary Secretary for Finance, Services and Property, Alister Henskens MP who indicated that the State Government would oppose this Bill indicating it “was not in the best interests of NSW”.
The Bill was introduced by the Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for the Illawarra, Ryan Park MP on behalf of NSW Labor, who thanked his regional colleagues, Anna Watson MP and Paul Scully MP for their direct input into developing and negotiating the Bill.
Mr Park also thanked the region’s trade union movement and employer representatives for their important role in developing the Bill.
The Bill will if passed by the Legislative Assembly:
- Maximise the use of 90 per cent Australian made steel in all publicly funded infrastructure in NSW;
- Appoint a NSW Steel Industry Advocate to monitor and ensure compliance with the Australian Standard and certification of Australian made steel use, and
- Locate the NSW Steel Industry Advocate in the Illawarra.
The Bill has been passed by the Legislative Council last year with the support of all minor parties.
Debate on the Bill will commence again next Thursday morning in the Legislative Assembly.
Comments attributable to Ryan Park MP
“I’m very proud to have been able to introduce the Steel Industry Protection Bill into the Legislative Assembly this morning as the Shadow Minister for the Illawarra.
“This Bill offers a once in a generation chance to develop procurement standards in law which will help secure a sustainable future for our steel works and out steel workers.
“I’m incredibly disappointed that my counter-part Gareth Ward appeared to be sidelined from leading the debate on the floor of the House and did even come in to support the Government’s case opposing our Bill for an hour while the debate was going on.”
Comments attributable to Anna Watson MP
“I’m very pleased the Bill has finally been introduced into the Legislative Assembly today.
“I hope we can have a full debate on the Bill and get it voted on so we can secure the steel industry’s future in the Illawarra.
“I share the disappointment that the Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast Gareth Ward didn’t lead the debate for the Government and we instead had to listen to a speech by another Parliamentary Secretary with no connection to the Illawarra at all.”
Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP
“It’s a great day for the region to have the Steel Industry Protection Bill introduced onto the floor of the Legislative Chamber.
“It’s a pity the Liberals have already indicated they will vote to defeat the Bill and equally disappointing that Gareth Ward did not lead the debate for the Government.
“I simply can’t understand why Mr Ward and the Government don’t seem to share in the pride we have in the Illawarra for the steel we make at Port Kembla in my electorate and want it used in every road, bridge, school and hospital built across the state.”