Senator Patrick Seeks Clarity & Urges PM to Support Whyalla Steel
Whyalla Steel
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Senator Patrick Seeks Clarity & Urges PM to Support Whyalla Steel

Australian media reported that South Australian Independent Senator Mr Rex Lyall Patrick wants the Australian Prime Minister Mr Scott John Morrison to

Australian media reported that South Australian Independent Senator Mr Rex Lyall Patrick wants the Australian Prime Minister Mr Scott John Morrison to make it clearwhat the Australian federal government is willing to do to ensure the Whyalla Steelworks survives its latest challenge. Mr Patrick said “At a time when a cloud of financial uncertainty hangs over Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, it’s essential that the Australian Government reaffirm the critical national importance of domestic steel production and the vital contribution the Whyalla steelworks makes to the city of Whyalla and South Australia. Prime Minister must speak directly to Mr Gupta to obtain a clear statement of GFG Alliance's challenging financial position. Especially as it potentially impacts on the future of the Whyalla steelworks and the hundreds of businesses that provide supplies and services to the business.”

He said “Hopefully Mr Gupta will be able to provide the Prime Minster and the Australian public with credible assurances that GFG will be able to weather the storm from the collapse of their financier backer, Greensill Capital. In any case the Prime Minister must publicly commit his Government to ensure that the Whyalla steelworks is safe and move without delay to put in place contingency plans to deal with the fallout in the event that GFG Alliance collapses. I'm not saying the government should write a cheque at this stage but I want the Prime Minister to stand up and assure the people of Whyalla that no matter what we will have a steelworks in Whyalla. We have to plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

He also tweeted “In 2018 @ScottMorrisonMP heaped praise on Sanjeev Gupta. He declared Whyalla was ‘a city with a future’. What now? This can't be another 'I don't hold a hose mate' moment. The PM must pick up the welder & do what it takes to save Whyalla.”

Senator Patrick added “Australian steel production is an essential component of our industrial and manufacturing base. It is key part of national infrastructure projects such as the Inland Rail project, to shipbuilding and to Australia’s national security. If the Whyalla steelworks were forced by external financial factors to close, it would be a grave blow to Australia’s national self-reliance and resilience.”

He also said “When the steelwork’s previous owner Arrium went into administration in 2016, my predecessor Senator Nick Xenophon was able to enlist the active engagement of then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in efforts to support the Whyalla steelworks.”

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