Following the release of the BIS Shrapnel report on a government procurement plan for steel the Greens have renewed their call for the NSW and federal governments to immediately adopt procurement frameworks for all publicly funded projects.
BIS Shrapnel recommends a minimum requirement of 85 to 90 per cent Australian steel use in all government products. Their report shows that a procurement plan would rescue the Port Kembla blast furnace.
Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said: "The Turnbull government needs to urgently engage with the future of the steel industry to avert mass unemployment in the Illawarra region.
"This report backs up calls from unions and the Greens for government procurement regulations that require raw steel content in all publicly funded infrastructure projects be sourced from Australian blast furnaces.
"When the Senate sits next week I will be speaking with Labor and crossbench MPs about supporting a joint motion for a Steel Industry Plan based on public procurement frameworks," Senator Rhiannon said.
Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "The BIS Shrapnel report blasts a hole through Kiama MP Gareth Ward's excuse for the Baird government's inaction on procurement.
"A legislated requirement for Australian-made steel to be used in all state and federal government infrastructure would more than save the Port Kembla blast furnace.
"It would bring a new era of growth to the industry and to the Illawarra region.
"Mr Ward and his Premier should drop their excuses and get on board with community calls for taxpayers' dollars to be spent on supporting steel jobs in Australia.
"The absence of any support from the Baird government shows their comprehensive lack of concern for the future of Port Kembla and the region.
"Reassuring words don't save jobs.
"The Greens NSW will this week begin consultation on our own bill to implement the recommendations of the BIS Shrapnel report for state government procurement.
"This week we'll be seeking feedback from unions and the community on our first draft with the aim of putting legislation before the NSW parliament next month.
"The best we can now do is shame the NSW Liberals and Nationals into action," Kaye said.
For more information:
Lee Rhiannon 0487 350 880
John Kaye 0407 195 455