Industry and Science Minister Ian Macfarlane must use tomorrows roundtable meeting in the Illawarra to develop a real plan to keep steelmaking jobs in the region.
Hollow statements and weasel words will not be satisfactory for the 5000 BlueScope steel workers whose jobs are on the line.
Labor had a plan for the Industry and region with the $300 million Steel Transformation plan (STP) which was to encourage investment, innovation and competitiveness in the Australian steelmaking industry.
The STP was abolished within weeks of the Abbott Government being elected, removing vital support and services from the region.
Labor is committed to steelmaking and we will work constructively with all levels of government to keep the industry strong.
Local Labor MPs Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones will use Monday’s roundtable to present Labor’s plan for steel manufacturing and regional Illawarra jobs:
Properly resource the Anti-Dumping Commission
A guaranteed commitment to the Australian Jobs Act
A commitment for Government to work with industry on procurement
Support for retrenched workers with the reinstatement of the Illawarra Local Employment Coordinator.
Preparing the region and businesses for the jobs of the future with infrastructure like the NBN.
The Illawarra cannot afford for Monday’s roundtable to be just another talk fest. There are over 9,500 people already looking for work in the region and this number must not be allowed to grow, the Abbott Government needs to act.
Under Tony Abbott, more than 800,000 Australians are out of work for the first time in over 20 years.
Tony Abbott and Ian Macfarlane cannot shy away from their responsibilities to this region to attract investment that will result in steel manufacturing remaining in the Illawarra and new jobs being created.
Labor will fight to keep high-skilled, high-wage steel making jobs in Australia and will continue to hold Tony Abbott and his government to account for its callous approach to the future of manufacturing and innovation in this country.