The Abbott government will be asked to activate World Trade Organisation emergency powers to save the Port Kembla steel industry if a motion before the Australian Senate is passed.
The motion, to be debated on Thursday 10 September, has been moved by Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon and Victorian independent Senator John Madigan. Full wording of the motion is below.
Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said, "We have introduced this motion as the Abbott government is dragging the chain on dealing with the crisis facing the Illawarra.
"Australia is on the verge of losing its steel industry and the Illawarra community would be decimated with the massive job losses.
"The government has the power to enact WTO emergency powers that would allow temporary and targeted tariffs to be introduced.
"Other countries including the US, India, South Africa and the European Union have adopted this measure in response to the dumping of steel.
"The Senate backed our earlier motion on the future of the Illawarra steel industry so we are hopeful we can win support for this motion," Senator Rhiannon said.
Senate motion on WTO emergency powers to save Port Kembla steel industry
I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall 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.
b)Calls on the Abbott Government to:
(i) Work with the steel industry, unions, businesses and communities to minimise the impact on local jobs and living standards from the world wide over supply of steel and;
(ii) immediately introduce allowable World Trade Organisation emergency safeguards by way of temporary and targeted tariffs similar to those introduced around the world including the US, the European Union, India and South Africa to retain our steel industry
SENATOR LEE RHIANNON and SENATOR JOHN MADIGAN
Contact - Brami Jegan 0487 350 880