Following months of inaction by the Abbott/Turnbull Government, Labor has today sought to establish a wide-ranging Senate inquiry into the future sustainability of Australia’s strategically vital steel industry and its supply chain.
The motion to refer these matters to an inquiry was co-sponsored by Senators Carr, Rhiannon, Xenophon, Madigan, Lambie and Lazarus.
Local Federal MPs, Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones, have spoken this week with representatives from the Save Our Steel campaign who were in Canberra to lobby for action to help save steelmaking in the Illawarra.
Labor is growing increasingly frustrated at Malcolm Turnbull’s refusal to take up even one of the action items from Bill Shorten and the local MPs.
The Senate inquiry will provide an opportunity to hear directly from the industry and supply chain about the issues faced manufacturing high quality steel in Australia.
The findings of the inquiry will provide a basis of future policy development and will examine critical issues for the steel industry, such as standards, dumping and government procurement.
The inquiry will also seek to fill the Abbott/Turnbull Government’s policy black hole when it comes to steel manufacturing in Australia.
The workers have shown real leadership and agreed to make their contribution, sacrificing jobs, wages and conditions but we are yet to see anything from the Turnbull Liberal Government.
The New South Wales Government has adopted two initiatives put forward by Illawarra Labor State MPs including payroll tax concessions and providing fee-waived training places for retrenched BlueScope workers.
Now it is time for Malcolm Turnbull and Christopher Pyne to step up.
The inquiry will call for submissions, hold public hearings and invite witnesses from Australia’s steel manufacturers, unions and the communities which rely on steel.
The inquiry will report back in June 2016, with the possibility of interim reports to be provided in early 2016.
Labor encourages stakeholders to submit their experience and expertise and to be ambitious with their vision on how Australia can sustain this strategically vital industry into the future.
WEDNESDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2015