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Senate backs motion to save Port Kembla steel industry

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 10 Sep 2015

The Abbott government failed in their attempt to defeat a Senate motion to save the steel industry.

The motion was passed with the combined support of the Greens, Labor and crossbenchers.

"The save the steel industry motion, passed 34 to 28 votes, calls on the government to immediately refer matters related to dumped sub-cost steel to the Anti-Dumping Commission and to consider the use of World Trade Organisation emergency safeguards," Senator Rhiannon said.

"I was pleased Senators John Madigan, Kim Carr and Nick Xenophon joined me in moving this motion.

"This motion sends a strong message to the Abbott government that urgent action is needed to save the steel industry and avert an unemployment crisis in the Illawarra.

"Australia is on the verge of losing its steel industry and the Illawarra community would be decimated with the massive job losses.

"Enacting World Trade Organisation emergency safeguards for the Australian steel industry is also covered in the motion.

"Other countries including the US, India, South Africa and the European Union have adopted WTO emergency safeguards in response to the dumping of steel.

Contact - Brami Jegan 0487 350 880

Motion to save the steel industry passed by Senate

To move-That the Senate -
(a) notes that:
(i) urgent action is needed to ensure that Australia does not lose its steelmaking capacity, in the wake of the global steel industry crisis, and
(ii) steel producing nations are responding to the oversupply and dumping of sub-cost steel with a range of strategies that include increasing public procurement, restructuring and emergency safeguards in the form of temporary targeted tariffs; and
(b) calls on the Abbott Government to:
(i) immediately refer matters related to dumped sub-cost steel into Australia to the Anti-Dumping Commission for a preliminary report within three weeks to include an assessment of the possible harm to local industry, and options for action including duties and World Trade Organization emergency safeguards,
(ii) ensure the Anti-Dumping Commission is suitably resourced to pursue ongoing improvements to Australia's anti-dumping system and reduce harm to local industry resulting from dumped imports;
(iii) work with the steel industry, unions, businesses and communities to minimise the impact on local jobs and living standards, particularly at the Port Kembla site in the Illawarra, from the world wide over supply of steel by developing:
A. a constructive Steel Industry Plan, including comprehensive policies for improvements in Australian Industry Participation, and
B. public procurement frameworks that include whole of life cost methods for assessing and determining procurement contracts,
(iv) prioritise structural adjustment and jobactive assistance to the Illawarra to minimise the impact on local jobs and living standards,
(v) reinstate the Local Employment Coordinator to assist steelworkers losing their jobs retrain and gain alternative employment, and
(vi) continue the work of the International Trade Remedies Forum to address the need for ongoing improvements to Australia's anti-dumping system, and any outstanding matters from the previous Government's suite of reforms to streamline Australia's anti-dumping system.


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