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Govt's bandaid measure for Arrium falls short

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For more information contact Karina Natt on 0433 620 850 or Nick Xenophon on 0411 626 677

Authorised by N. Xenophon, 653 Lower North East Road, Paradise, SA 5075.

19 / 6 / 2016

GOVT’S BANDAID MEASURE FOR ARRIUM FALLS SHORT Senator Nick Xenophon says the Turnbull Government’s announcement of $49million for a benefaction plant for Whyalla steelmaker Arrium is “a short-sighted, stop-gap measure by the Coalition and attempt to take Arrium off the election agenda”. He again called for the letter from Arrium’s administrator to the PM setting out the package of measures required to ensure the long-term viability and success of the steelmaker to be made public. “PM Turnbull and Industry Minister Pyne say this is the most immediate action that can be taken to improve the profitability of Arrium - of course this measure is welcome, but rather than leaving the steelmaker on life support and the people of Whyalla in limbo, the company’s long-term future needs to be secured,” Nick said. “I understand the administrator of Arrium, Mark Mentha, has given the Government and the Opposition a number of requests to ensure the steelmakers long-term viability and success - why is this being kept secret? “Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull have both made announcements in the past few days and yet continue to keep from the public the information on which these packages are based. Any requests by the administrator are made in the best interests of stake holders pursuant to Corporations law and therefore we need to know on whose best interests Liberal and Labor have based their packages.” Senator Xenophon vowed to keep the survival and future of Arrium on the election agenda for the next 13 days until voters head to the polls. “Along with Australian jobs and Australian made, government accountability is a core pillar of the Nick Xenophon Team and we will fight for transparency on this issue - Australians deserve to know what Arrium really needs because it could be the difference between a strong manufacturing sector in this nation or not,” Nick said. “Our candidate in Grey, Andrea Broadfoot, is fiercely representing the electorate and putting pressure on what has traditionally been a safe Liberal seat as she continues to advocate for jobs in Whyalla and the entire region. If I am re-elected and Andrea is elected we will unashamedly use our vote to hold out for Arrium to get the help it needs.” Senator Xenophon said Prime Minister Turnbull will need to commit to a comprehensive package of support including an urgent capital injection for Arrium from the Commonwealth Government; an overhaul of government procurement laws to ensure that Australian steel (and other locally manufactured products) is used in taxpayer funded infrastructure projects taking into account the social and economic benefits of local procurement; a strengthening of anti-dumping laws, consistent with recommendations made by the Australian Steel Institute and its key members such as Bluescope and Arrium; and an undertaking that Australia will not enter into the World Trade Organization procurement agreement which will undermine local procurement laws.