Labor and Liberal vote against SA jobs and Whyalla Steel

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Labor and Liberal parties combined to defeat a motion* from SA Green Senators Robert Simms and Sarah Hanson-Young in support of the steel industry in Whyalla and South Australian jobs.
"The impact of the Trans Pacific Partnership on SA jobs is clear to see in Whyalla. Our motion today sought to highlight the impact of free trade agreements on preventing national procurement and called for this to be dumped so that we can look after local jobs," said Greens Senator Robert Simms.
"Unfortunately, the Labor and Liberal parties continue to promote the TPP, despite it adversely impacting on local industry and employment."
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young slammed the Labor and Liberal parties for voting against South Australian jobs, the steel industry and the people of Whyalla.
"South Australian Labor and Liberal Senators abandoned the people of Whyalla today and showed that they have no plan for jobs in SA," Senator Hanson-Young said.
"Both Labor and Liberal continue to say that free trade agreements are good for Australian jobs, but what we've seen is the exact opposite. Buying Australian made steel for nation building projects is the very least the government should do."
Senator Simms visited Whyalla early this month for the senate inquiry into the future of the steel industry.
Media Contact:
Simms: Amy Moran 0417 173 508
Hanson-Young: Noah Schultz-Byard 0427 604 760
 
*The motion, as rejected by the Labor and Liberal parties in the Senate read;
The Senate: 
 
a)      Acknowledges:
  i.            That the Australian steelworks manufacturing industry has been an important part of the Australian economy for almost 100 years; and
  ii.            This is a difficult time for South Australian employees at Arrium and the Whyalla community, with Arrium recently going into administration.
 
b)      Calls on the Government to:
  i.            Provide urgent mental health support to the Whyalla Community as part of any plan to assist in securing the future of the steel industry in South Australia;
  ii.            Invest in the development of greenhouse gas reducing steel making technologies;
  iii.            Adopt a mandatory use of Australian Standards to assess the quality compliance of all steel related building products used in Australia;
  iv.            Develop a legislated national procurement policy that ensures all government infrastructure and construction projects use at least 90 per cent locally produced steel;
  v.            As a condition of such a procurement policy, require Australian steel producers to adopt renewable sources of energy for the steel production process; 
  vi.            Recognise that the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other free trade deals prevent federal and state governments from adopting such procurement policies should they be signed; and
  vii.            Reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership to protect South Australian jobs.
 
Senator Robert Simms, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and Senator Nick Xenophon