New Railway Lines Require Badly Needed Steel

New Railway Lines Require Badly Needed Steel

South Australia Shadow Minister for Industry Martin Hamilton-Smith

Weatherill Needs A New Strategy On Steel

Victor P Taffa

This morning’s news surrounding the future of Whyalla’s OneSteel operations is a real test for Premier Weatherill’s economic management.

“OneSteel is simply too important to Whyalla in terms of jobs and the wider economy for the Labor Government to allow it to fail.” Shadow Minister for Industry Martin Hamilton-Smith said.

“I call on Premier Weatherill to head up a taskforce to address the challenges facing the Whyalla steelworks and South Australian manufacturers.”

“First, the government needs to examine the effect of the carbon tax legislation, and the adequacy of Steel Transformation Plan Bill 2011 in shoring up a long-term strategy for steel.” Mr. Hamilton-Smith said.

 

“Australian manufacturers lead the way in world-class sustainability and emissions practices to ship steel manufacturing off-shore will push up global emissions and cut Australian jobs.”

“Thousands of jobs in Whyalla are now under the gun. Will Paul Howes and the AWU continue to support the Gillard Labor Government’s carbon tax legislation if one job is gone?”

“Second, we need to examine the extent to which BHP?s Olympic Dam expansion will provide new opportunities for Whyalla’s workers. How much of the steel is being shipped in from overseas when we have a world class facility nearby in Whyalla?”

“Contracts need to be locked in as soon as possible for the Upper Spencer Gulf region’s economic future.” Mr. Hamilton-Smith said.

“Third, the Labor Government should consider beefing up its 2005 Industry Participation Policy to tighten up requirements for government procurement and major mining projects to use local manufacturers like OneSteel.”

“In 2001, OneSteel provided the steel for the completion of the Adelaide-Darwin railway link, providing around $100 Million in revenue. How much local steel is being sourced for the government’s railway electrification projects and the city stadium?”

“The Labor Government must consider options to ensure that local suppliers like OneSteel are given a fair shot for these major projects to ensure South Australian tax payer money goes right back in to supplying South Australian jobs.” Mr. Hamilton-Smith said.