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Statement on Arrium

4 April 2016

The Australian steel industry is facing substantial challenges primarily caused by the significant oversupply of steel.

The Australian Government has focussed on the policy levers available to give Arrium every opportunity to transition in this difficult global market and we will continue this work.

Through the Government's reform of anti-dumping laws and a tough new approach to applying them against foreign competitors, coupled with the bringing forward of the purchase of 72 000 tonnes of steel for the Adelaide-Tarcoola rail line, the Australian Government has shown its support for the Whyalla steelworks and the workers.

The Australian Government has implemented significant policy reforms to support Australia’s steel industry through measures to alleviate the costs of regulatory burden. These include:

  • The Prime Minister’s announcement on 9 March 2016 that the Government will bring forward a project to upgrade 600 kilometres of rail line between Adelaide and Tarcoola. The Australian Rail Track Corporation will partner with Arrium to deliver the upgrade, substantially boosting demand for steel production from Whyalla.

  • The Government’s November 2015 anti-dumping reforms, which address many of the concerns raised by Australian industry, have significantly strengthened Australia’s anti-dumping system.

  • The Anti-Dumping Commission’s ongoing analysis of Asian steel and aluminium markets to identify trends in dumping and consider ways to improve the efficiency of investigations and possible additional measures.

  • Delivering on the Government’s deregulation agenda by removing more than $4.5 billion in red and green tape since September 2013.

  • Repealing of the carbon tax.

  • The provision of a 100 per cent exemption from the Renewable Energy Target for emissions intensive, trade exposed industries.

  • The Building Minister’s Forum (which brings together Federal, State and Territory Minister) investigating non-conforming and non-compliant building products.

  • Agreement from State Ministers on the COAG Industry and Skills Council to examine the opportunities and challenges of government procurement policies.

It takes a whole of government effort, with state governments responsible for most major construction projects they have a critical role in ensuring the use local products to support Australian industry.

The Turnbull Government will continue to work closely with the South Australian State Government. This is an uncertain time for steelworkers in Whyalla and the Australian Government stands ready to assist.

Media contact: Mr Pyne's office 02 6277 7070, pynemedia [at] industry.gov.au

Department media: media [at] industry.gov.au