Feds must safeguard Aussie steel on the rocks from foreign owner financial woes

Apr 12, 2021

Feds must safeguard Aussie steel on the rocks from foreign owner financial woes

Apr 12, 2021

KAP Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has called on the Government to intervene and safeguard Australia’s premier steel employer, OneSteel Manufacturing, from sinking as a result of its British owner’s financial arm going into administration[1].

OneSteel Manufacturing, owned by British billionaire, Sanjeev Gupta, risks closure with 1200 jobs lost if a claim filed to the NSW Supreme Court to end Gupta’s Australian operations is successful.

The move against Australian steel is the result of the collapse of Greensill Capital, a major lender to Mr Gupta.

Mr Katter warned he was going to move legislation to safeguard the Australian industry from closure, one of the last industries to be holding on by a thread despite successive government’s free trade crusade.

“We are going to move legislation which spells out that where Government monies are concerned, all buildings and roofing materials shall contain exclusively Australian steel,” he said.

“It will also request that people have to show cause why they are not using Australian steel in these projects.

“At present there is no formal monitoring on the substandard product coming in from overseas and as part of this, we will be pointing out very strongly the necessity for self-sufficiency in essential infrastructure industries.  

“Barack Obama and George W Bush are both on record as saying that if it contains a dollar of taxpayers money, then it will contain 100 per cent American steel. 

“It would be damn good if we had this mentality and patriotism with the decision making in our country.”

Mr Katter said it was imperative to protect Australia’s steel industry given the country has some of the most stringent building codes in the world and that Australia’s quality is exceptional.

“Steelworks and the nickel refinery are base industries. Our economic foundations are continuing to be kicked out from under the Australian people.

“If we can’t produce steel and we can’t produce motor cars and we have no oil, then I’m afraid we don’t have a Western economy.

“A house is built out of steel and cement. Around half of our cement comes in from overseas – soon all of it will come in. And now the steel industry is doomed if the Government doesn’t step in.

“Remember those two towers (Opal and Mascot) in Sydney? Well if we allow the closure of Aussie steel, and we keep bringing in sub-par essential infrastructure materials from overseas, created with god-knows-what, by god-knows-who, then there will be fall out. And it won’t be pretty.”