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Wednesday, 30 October 1996
Page: 6150

Mr MARTIN FERGUSON —Mr Speaker, my question is addressed to the Minister for Industry, Science and Tourism. Is the minister aware that, yesterday, 250 jobs were lost from BHP Steel in Whyalla? Given that Labor, through its steel industry plan, was able to save regional steel centres like Wollongong and Newcastle, will the minister agree to the request of the House Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology for a reference on the future of the iron and steel industry so as to stop the loss of further steel industry jobs?

Mr MOORE —Mr Speaker, I am aware of the recent developments at Whyalla and Newcastle. An approach has been made to me by the member for Newcastle for a subcommittee of that committee to look at affairs as a result of what has happened at Newcastle. I have asked, as an alternative to that, that a consultative committee of members of parliament be formed which could travel to Newcastle to see for itself exactly what is going on in that area and what might affect it. I believe that is a better way than going through the committee.