Giles MP Mr Huges Call for National Steel Policy for Australia
Whyalla News reported that an Australian MP representing the South Australian House of Assembly seat of Giles Mr Eddie Hughes has called on the federal government to develop the policy to support Australian manufacturing jobs. Mr Hughes said “All taxpayer funded projects should maximise the use of Australian steel to support the Whyalla Steelworks, the only integrated steelworks in Australia that produces structural steel and rail. The Whyalla steelworks is operating at full capacity producing 1.2 million tonnes of intermediate and finished steel product. Demand is high due to the size of the stimulus package and a reduction in steel imports because of COVID 19. "Those circumstances will change, and the development of a national steel procurement policy will help cushion changes in demand."
He added "The current at best ad hoc approach at a national level needs to be replaced with a thought through policy aimed at supporting our sovereign manufacturing capacity in the steel industry."
Australia’s Industry Minister Ms Karen Andrews said “The government recognised the importance of the steelworks to the Whyalla community and our national capability. The federal government had been a strong supporter of the steelworks, to which it had awarded contracts to supply steel for the AUD 10 billion Inland Rail Project. The Morrison Government recognises the Australian steel industry is crucial for our economy. We are closely monitoring the situation, and working across government. We are also in close contact with the South Australian Government, and are in regular conversation with GFG including directly with owner Sanjeev Gupta."
In 2015 Mr Hughes lobbied for changes to the steel procurement policy in South Australia with support from the Office of the Industry Advocate. He said "We ended up with what the Australian Steel Institute called the best steel procurement policy in Australia.”