Responding to a strong union and community campaign the Greens have secured an inquiry into Australia’s steel industry and its supply chain.
“This is a win for the people of the Illawarra, steelworkers and their families all around the country, members of the South Coast Labour Council, the Illawarra branch of the Australian Workers Union and other unionists who have been campaigning very hard to ensure the steel industry in Australia has a strong future,” said Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.
“Steelmaking is vital for the Illawarra and critical to the economy of the whole country.
“Any threat to the Australian steel industry is a threat to jobs and therefore also people’s wellbeing. You do not have to go far in the Illawarra to get a sense of how serious this is.
“Port Kembla has been producing steel since 1928. You meet so many families where generation after generation have worked in the industry. They have learnt so much, and they have become skilled workers and valued members of their local communities.
“Greens MPs and members in Illawarra have backed the campaign to save the steel industry right from the start. We have taken the issue into both the NSW state and federal parliaments and joined community actions.
“My colleague in the NSW parliament, Greens MP Dr John Kaye, has today released the consultation draft of his bill to require 100 per cent of steel in all state government funded infrastructure to be sourced from Australian mills.
“The Turnbull government would be wise to bring in a similar bill at the federal level.
“The Senate inquiry will provide an opportunity for political engagement with an industry that is facing the very real threat of closure and to work out a way to avert large-scale job losses in the community,” said Senator Rhiannon.
Notice of Motion
Inquiry into the future of Australia's steel industry and its supply chain
Senators Carr and Rhiannon
We give notice that, on the next day of sitting, we will move:
That the following matters be referred to the Senate Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day of June 2016 -
a) the future sustainability of Australia's strategically vital steel industry and it's supply chain; and
b) any other related matters.