THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
SENATOR KIM CARR
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HIGHER EDUCATION, RESEARCH, INNOVATION AND INDUSTRY
SENATOR FOR VICTORIA
LABOR'S POSITIVE PLAN TO SECURE AUSTRALIAN METALS MANUFACTURING AND JOBS
A Shorten Labor Government will deliver a six-point plan to secure the future of strategically significant metals manufacturing industries including steel-making in Australia.
Labor's Plan for Australian Metals Manufacturing and Jobs will ensure a strong future for Australia’s metal industries - one where we grow jobs instead of seeing them slip away as is happening on Malcolm Turnbull’s watch.
Steel is a strategically significant industry for Australia. We must not become the only advanced economy in the world to let our steel industry die.
Being an advanced economy that can make things here at home means ensuring Australia’s strategic industries have a sustainable future.
To secure the long-term future of our local metal industries, we need to make smart use of the opportunities in front of us and build on Australia’s natural strengths.
A Shorten Labor Government will:
- ensure Australian standards are upheld in Federal Government funded projects and support local producers meet certification standards
- seek to maximise the use of locally-produced steel in Federal Government funded projects and put in place regular reporting of usage levels
- halve the thresholds for projects required to have an Australian Industry Participation Plans from $500 million down to $250 million for private projects, and from $20 million to $10 million for public projects.
- double funding for the Australian Industry Participation Authority and appoint an AIP Board
- ensure Australia’s anti-dumping system has the right powers and penalties in place
- create a national Steel Supplier Advocate
Labor will start delivering our Plan for Australian Metals Manufacturing and Jobs within 100 days of forming office, with the creation of the Metals Manufacturing Innovation Council.
The Council will bring together representatives from industry, unions and state governments, and work closely with the Federal Labor Government to deliver our plan.
Our plan acknowledges that Australia’s local steel industry is now under significant pressure. Low international prices, high-cost raw materials, the dumping of products from overseas and weak domestic demand are all challenging its long-term viability.
Other metal industries are facing the same challenges. For example, Australia’s aluminium industry is also being squeezed by low international prices and significant industry restructuring.
These industries will also benefit from lower thresholds for Australian Industry Participation Plans, better anti-dumping rules and having a direct line to Government through the Metals Manufacturing Innovation Council.
Labor has developed our plan by listening to industry and being willing to take action on the practical challenges holding our metal industries back.
On the other hand, the Turnbull Government talks a lot about the future of these industries but has refused to act.
Earlier this week, Mr Turnbull said that on his visit to China he won’t even raise the issue of excess capacity which the OECD has said is “one of the most significant challenges facing the global steel industry today.”
Unlike Mr Turnbull and the Liberals, we won’t just talk about keeping these industries strong for the future; Labor will act to make sure they will be.
More information about Labor’s Plan for Australian Metals Manufacturing and Jobs is available here.
THURSDAY, 14 APRIL 2016