Future of Bluescope Steel


Click here to watch Sharon’s speech

Ms BIRD (Cunningham) (13:58): Last week, I attended a community meeting in my area with the member for Throsby, which was called by the South Coast Labour Council and the Australian Workers' Union to explore an issue of great concern across our community: the future of BlueScope Steel. I am glad that the minister has just entered the room, as I am addressing the BlueScope Steel issue.

This is a critical industry that has been in our area for decades. My own grandmother was a cook there and my dad did his apprenticeship there. Its story is woven throughout the stories of all the families in our region. It is facing a particularly tough time. Yesterday, we hosted a delegation of the union to meet with shadow ministers. I know that they are also meeting with government ministers. They are talking about the need for governments at both state and federal levels to engage in a policy to save the steel industry. It is very, very important to us as a region. As I said, I know the minister was meeting with them today.

I just want to take this opportunity in this parliament to reinforce their message: for our community, this is a critically important industry. We hope that the government at both state and federal levels work with all the stakeholders to ensure that we do whatever we can to save the steel industry for the future and to support a region that desperately needs some support from governments on this case.