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Still good prospects for Whyalla Steelworks



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WHYALLA OFFICE: PORT PIRIE OFFICE:

45a Playford Avenue WHYALLA SA 5600 104 Ellen Street (PO Box 296) PORT PIRIE SA 5540 Phone: (08) 8645 4255 Phone: (08) 8633 1744

Phone: 1300 301 651 (local call cost) Phone: 1300 301 742 (local call cost)

Fax: (08) 8645 5933 Fax: (08) 8633 1749

ROWAN RAMSEY MP

Federal Member for Grey

Still Good Prospects for Whyalla Steelworks

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the decision by Arrium to go into voluntary administration is not surprising and may not be as negative as people fear.

“The announcement this morning is very unsettling for Arrium workers, all the associated industries and their families,” he said. “However I believe there are good prospects for the future and urge the Whyalla community not to lose hope. I firmly believe there is a future for the steel industry in Whyalla,” Mr Ramsey said.

“What must be resolved is the issue of the debt that hangs over Arrium’s head. “As a private company Arrium borrowed more than two billion dollars from four privately owned banks who have willingly loaned it.

“If that two billion dollar debt wasn’t hanging around the neck of Arrium, the steelworks and the mining operation would be operating at a profit.

“I believe if the company is to be sold or broken up, letting the steelworks collapse would be the worst thing that could possibly happen for all parties because the any value the plant has would be instantly destroyed. “An operating steelworks has real value, one that has closed is worth substantially less than nothing because of the inferred liabilities associated with plant clean up and repatriation of land. I would expect that cost to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars”.

“That would be the last thing the creditors would want to happen and so it is in everyone’s interests to keep the plant operating.”

Mr Ramsey said he is in constant contact with the Prime Minister and Minister Pyne and hopes to meet with the administrators in the next few days.

“The Federal Government is well aware of the situation which is why the Prime Minister visited Whyalla and it’s why we brought forward the order for the Adelaide to Tarcoola railway line,” he said.

“This is why we have been working in the area of anti-dumping and significantly widened and increased countervailing duties on dumped steel. The Australian taxpayer would not want us to front up with two billion dollars to write off a debt that these private companies have arranged between themselves.

WHYALLA OFFICE: PORT PIRIE OFFICE:

45a Playford Avenue WHYALLA SA 5600 104 Ellen Street (PO Box 296) PORT PIRIE SA 5540 Phone: (08) 8645 4255 Phone: (08) 8633 1744

Phone: 1300 301 651 (local call cost) Phone: 1300 301 742 (local call cost)

Fax: (08) 8645 5933 Fax: (08) 8633 1749

“The future of Arrium is at the fore of my priorities at the moment and I will continue to work toward the best solution for Whyalla, the steelworks and most importantly, the workers and their families.”

Media contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 08 8633 1744 April 7 2016