The Australian Workers’ Union has criticised a decision by the New South Wales Government to use rail imported from Spain instead of steel produced in Whyalla to supply the Sydney Metro Northwest project.
AWU National Secretary Scott McDine said the decision was a ‘disgrace’.
“Australian steel should be used on taxpayer-funded infrastructure projects — that must be the default position,” he said.
“Victoria is building its multi-billion dollar level crossing project with Australian steel, and the South Australian government mandates the use of Australian steel on taxpayer-funded projects.”
“The NSW Government should hang its head in shame for rejecting Australian workers in Whyalla in favour of Spanish steel.”
AWU Acting SA Branch Secretary Peter Lamps said it was bizarre that South Australia was missing out to Spain once again.
“The Federal Government created 3000 Spanish jobs that could have gone to South Australia when it handed the contract for two replacement supply ships to Europe this month,” he said.
“Now it seems the NSW Government is making sure South Australia loses out to Spain again.”
“Why are Australian Liberal governments more eager to create jobs in Spain over South Australia?
Mr Lamps said the $8.3 billion dollar project would have made a huge difference in Whyalla if local steel had been used.
“Every other steel-producing nation in the world has measures in place to ensure local steel is given preference,” he said.
“How the NSW Government could reject South Australian steel in this way simply beggars belief.”
A spokesperson for NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance recently said the ability to deliver on time was one of the key factors in using Spanish steel over Whyalla steel.