The Illawarra Business Chamber believes, the reintroduction of a Steel Protection Bill should focus on ensuring a level playing field and provide incentives to promote research and continued innovation to ensure the future of the Australian steel industry.
Illawarra Business Chamber Executive Director, Chris Lamont, said it was good to see a renewed focus on the importance of the Australian steel industry at both the state and federal levels of government.
“The Australian steel industry is competing on the international stage so it is vital that legislative settings are mindful of domestic and international considerations, said Chris Lamont.
Demand for steel is expected to be boosted in coming years by the number of major infrastructure projects across Australia and the investment by the Australian Defence Force in new equipment.
“Strengthened anti-dumping provisions at the federal level and ensuring imported steel meets Australian Standards will go a long way to ensure an even playing field for Australian steel producers. Lowest price should not be the only assessment criteria in government tenders so an examination of value for money considerations and government procurement processes is also important,” said Chris Lamont.
The Chamber supports the value of Industry Participation Agreements for major public infrastructure projects and believes collaboration between state and federal governments is essential for the future of the Australian steel industry.
Investments in new technology, commitment and success in implementing innovation has supported the Australian steel industry in establishing and growing new markets in North America and the Asia Pacific.
“Measures to support the Australian steel industry should penalise inferior and sub-standard imports and promote the use of Australian steel in government projects. It is also essential that legislative and taxation settings allow the industry to remain globally competitive,” Chris Lamont.