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Australian steel industry Senate inquiry calls for cheaper energy, tougher anti-dumping measures

Steel News - Published on Tue, 05 Dec 2017

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ABC NET reported that a Senate inquiry is calling for a raft of measures to secure the Australian steel industry including beefing up anti-dumping laws and certification. The Senate's Economics References Committee handed down 28 recommendations on December 1st 2017 as part of its final report into the future of the industry. The inquiry arose after Australia's two major steelworks at Whyalla in South Australia and Port Kembla in New South Wales faced major financial issues leading to large job losses.

The report said the inquiry received "alarming evidence" around the safety risks posed by steel that did not meet Australian standards and was used in bridges, poles, caravans and safety structures on mining sites.

It found legal loopholes allowed imported fabricated steel to avoid complying with the same standard as steel made in Australia which meant local steel costed more to produce.

The recommendations included maximising the use of locally-made steel in Commonwealth-funded projects and improving resources for the Anti-Dumping Commission, which investigates alleged dumping and subsidisation of goods imported into Australia.

The Opposition industry and innovation spokesman Mr Kim Carr said it was vital the Government committed to using more Australian steel.

The inquiry has also recommended a bipartisan solution to high energy costs in order to secure energy supply for steel manufacturers.

Bluescope Energy, which owns the Port Kembla steelworks, this week said its energy prices had risen by 93% over the past two years.

The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg earlier this week used the Port Kembla steelworks as a backdrop to spruik the Government's National Energy Guarantee.

Senator Carr said there was now an opportunity for the Government to ensure steelmaking remained strong in Australia. He said that "We need a bit more than platitudes and vague references to Jimmy Barnes here.”

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Posted By : Sanju Moirangthem on Tue, 05 Dec 2017
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