SENATOR Matthew Canavan, Michelle Landry MP, and Colin Boyce MP have called for the steel that will be used for the Rockhampton Ring Road to be Australian made steel to support Australian manufacturing.
The ring road will provide a way around 19 sets of traffic lights and construction could contribute to Australian manufacturing as well.
“With high energy prices and global insecurity now is the time to start ensuring that the government can do what they can to keep critical manufacturing here in Australia.
“This can easily be achieved by putting Australian manufacturing first in government projects, and what better place to start than as part of one of the major projects in Central Queensland.
“We’ve got the capability, we’ve got the skills, does this government have the moxie to put their money where their mouth is and support Australian?” Senator Canavan said.
Jobs in manufacturing in Australia hit their lowest levels in 2019 before seeing a small rise over the time since.
“As the Shadow Minister for Manufacturing, I believe it is important that Australian Steel is used as much as possible in local construction projects, especially when government funding helps the project come to fruition.
This makes sure money and jobs in the Australian steel industry stay local instead of sending both offshore,” Michelle Landry said.
“Local businesses often compete on the world stage with overseas businesses and they deserve more recognition from governments of all levels to support their efforts.”
The Rockhampton Ring Road was first announced in November 2018 with an $800 million commitment from the then LNP Federal Government which has since been increased to $852 million of the total $1.065 billion of funding allocated to the project.
Federal Member for Flynn Colin Boyce said that buying Australian made steel helps grow the nation’s manufacturing industry and provides flow on benefits to other industries.
“It has been estimated that every dollar of steel production generates an additional gross output of $2.30 across the wider economy,” Mr Boyce said.
“It is crucial that we support our Australian industries which includes utilising Australian made steel.”
It’s been estimated that increasing the domestic share of steel content in government projects from the current 60% to 90% would grow the size of the market for Australian steel from 633,000 tonnes in 2018/19 to approximately 1.5 million tonnes.
Senator Paul Scarr added “Australia makes some of the best quality steel in the world. If you look at the bigger picture and consider long term maintenance costs and durability instead of just focussing on initial upfront cost, then Australian steel holds its own against any steel in the world. We should provide every opportunity for Australian steel to be used – it is good for the project and good for Australia.”
The Australian steel industry employs nearly 110,000 Australians, and generates revenue in the order of $29 billion. Australian steel production capacity exceeds five million tonnes annually.
 Australian Steel Institute https://www.steel.org.au/what-we-do/advocacy/local-content-procurement/