The Illawarra Business Chamber welcomes the NSW Government’s proposed changes to steel procurement which place a greater focus on quality, standards and industry certification of structural steel.
Illawarra Business Chamber has previously pointed to the value and importance of enforcing Australian Standards including AS/NZS 5131 in NSW Government Procurement. These measures will help provide a more level playing field and assist in maintaining a competitive Australian Steel Industry.
From 1 October 2017, NSW Government tenders will require compliance with the above Standard and will apply a stricter compliance regime.
The Illawarra Steel Industry comprises world class steel fabricators and many small businesses who supply the NSW, Australian Governments and export markets with world class products.
“These companies make a substantial contribution to employment and economic development, and are looking for fairness not handouts. Ensuring Australian Standards are applied is an important measure in helping to achieve this,” said Chris Lamont.
There is also a need for the Australian Government to get tougher on steel import dumping. Dumping occurs when an exporter sells goods to Australia at a price below the ‘normal value’ of the goods. The normal value is usually the domestic price of the goods in the country of export.
“A number of countries have dealt with this problem by applying tough anti-dumping duties. We need to design and implement provisions to address this issue,” said Chris Lamont.
“The measures announced by Minister Dominello and Parliamentary Secretary Gareth Ward are important and very much welcome. We want to make sure that local business is afforded every opportunity to provide goods and services to government projects. New procurement arrangements will assist in maintaining a competitive steel industry in the Illawarra,” said Chris Lamont.