Media Release

Greens’ Bill to protect local steel industry

02/11/2016 11:00 am

The Greens will today seek to bolster the local steel industry, by requiring all State Government construction projects to use Australian-made steel. The Greens’ Steel Industry Protection Bill 2016 will be debated today, with a final vote expected on Wednesday 16 November.

The South Australian steel industry has had a difficult year, with the Arrium steelworks in Whyalla going into administration in June.

“Maintaining a local steel industry is important for the economy and for jobs, particularly in Whyalla,” said Mark Parnell MLC, Greens SA Parliamentary Leader.

“In response to the Arrium crisis, both State and Federal Governments have talked about using local steel for local infrastructure projects; however, relying on good intentions isn’t as good as enshrining this policy in law.”

The Greens Bill requires steel used in Government projects to be sourced locally, but allows for exclusions if certain types of steel aren’t made here or can’t be made here at a reasonable cost. Even with these exemptions, about 90% of steel used will be locally made. The Bill also requires regular reporting so that the public can see that the Government is complying with local procurement rules.

This Bill is similar to a Bill introduced by the Greens into the NSW Parliament earlier this year. That Bill passed the NSW Upper House with support from the Labor opposition and the crossbench.

“If the South Australian Labor Government is serious about supporting the local steel industry, it will support this Bill, as its colleagues did in New South Wales,” concluded Mark Parnell.

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