The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has welcomed NSW Labor’s announcement that, if elected, it would require the 90 per cent use of Australian-made steel in every publicly funded infrastructure project across the state.
“This policy is great news for Australian steelworkers and great news for the people of the Illawarra,” said NSW AMWU Secretary Tim Ayres. “We believe that a strong and sustainable steel industry should be an important part of this state’s future and we are glad to see the Labor Party will support it.”
“I want to congratulate the member for Keira, Ryan Park, on his work in putting together this policy. He is a champion of his local community,” said Mr Ayres. “Today’s announcement represents the bold industry policy that our state deserves.”
“We look forward to working with NSW Labor to support local manufacturing in other industries such as trains, busses and other major engineering projects that would benefit from this approach,” he said.
The AMWU is proud to advocate for the mandated use of Australian steel in infrastructure projects as a cheap and effective way to support this strategically vital industry as it faces unprecedented international conditions.
A BIS Shrapnel report released last year found that a 90% local steel requirement would add only 0.2% cost to the state infrastructure, but would deliver $1.3 billion in real GDP and keep both Australian steelmakers in production, saving thousands of steelmaking jobs.
“The economic and social case for local steel requirements is clear. It is smart, cost-effective policy that will drive economic growth and support good jobs,” Mr Ayres said.
Both the Victorian and South Australian governments have already mandated the use of Australian steel in infrastructure projects. In contrast, the Baird Government has continued to use imported steel on major infrastructure projects such as the North West Rail Link and the Sydney Convention Centre, a move which has put thousands of jobs at risk.
“Imported steel costs Australian jobs,” said Mr Ayres. “We need Australian governments to buy Australian steel and it is time for the Baird government to act.”
The AMWU has renewed its call for Federal Labor to include mandated local content as part of its six-point plan to save the Australian steel industry.
“The future of Australian steel needs to be a priority of all governments,” Mr Ayres said.
Media Contact: Joe McKenzie 0407931445