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Statement on Arrium

7 April 2016

The Federal Government is disappointed by today’s announcement by the board of Arrium to place the company into voluntary administration however remains hopeful that a positive outcome can be achieved.

This is a difficult time for the workers and families affected, particularly in Whyalla.

While we are advised by the Administrator's that it remains business as usual, the Federal Government stands ready to assist the workers of Whyalla.

The Government, through jobactive, already has a range of support services available for workers who have recently lost their jobs from Arrium.  Any additional assistance would build on these existing employment services.

The State Government will have a key role to play in ensuring measures are in place to support any workers adversely impacted.

The Australian steel industry is facing substantial challenges primarily caused by the significant oversupply of steel. The Australian steel industry is not alone in facing these challenges.

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

  • On 9 March 2016, the Prime Minister announced 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 is also currently undertaking an 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.
  • The Government has delivered on its deregulation agenda by removing more than $4.5 billion in red and green tape since September 2013.
  • The repeal 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.
  • The COAG Industry and Skills Council meeting Ministers agreed to examine the opportunities and challenges of government procurement policies.

Despite this work by both the State and Federal Government it is clear that the issues being experienced at Arrium are not able to be addressed with further regulatory interventions by government.

Media contact: Mr Pyne's office 02 6277 7070, pynemedia@industry.gov.au
Department media: media@industry.gov.au