A new dawn for the steel city: Ramsey

HOPEFUL FUTURE: Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey, right, with GFG Alliance Chairman Sanjeev Gupta, left.
HOPEFUL FUTURE: Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey, right, with GFG Alliance Chairman Sanjeev Gupta, left.

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey has taken the opportunity in Parliament last week to talk-up Whyalla's prospects.

In an adjournment speech in the Parliament, he spoke of the encouraging developments at Liberty Primary Steel Australia and his joy at the news Sanjeev Gupta had secured finance for the steelworks.

"It would come as no surprise to anyone in this place that there's been a lot of focus on GFG Alliance, Mr Sanjeev Gupta and the collapse of Greensill and the effect it had on his global empire," Mr Ramsey told the Parliament.

"Citibank, here in Australia, had lodged an application to wind -up the operations of OneSteel Manufacturing and GFG's Tahmoor coal mine operations. which caused major concerns in Whyalla.

"But the darkest hour is the hour before dawn, and the new dawn has risen over Whyalla. I had great confidence Mr Gupta would land new finance for his operations. He has been around a while and is a survivor and a confident operator.

"It's a great credit to the workers of Whyalla steel, who have taken a pay cut and buckled down. The new management there, particularly the last change, has seemed to have made an enormous difference.

"This operation, which was losing tens of millions of dollars a year, is now back in the black and making good profits. It's on the back of a buoyant steel market.

"The whole of the GFG Alliance empire has basically been rejuvenated by the profits of the Australian arm. It just shows how good these businesses are in the long term."

Mr Ramsey was pleased to tell the Parliament of his pride in the regional city and the positive pathway which lay before it.

"As a Government we have made finance available for a movement to green steel, and Mr Gupta has expressed great interest in this in the past.

"There's been the sale of the Whyalla Foreshore Motor Inn. Many thanks to Barbara and Tom Derham, who have been part of the Whyalla business community for decades," he said.

"It's gone to a consortium planning to build a $100 million hotel down on the foreshore at Whyalla and invest in building Whyalla as a tourism destination, rather than just the kind of place you pass through.

"At the same time, the Federal Government has nominated Eyre Peninsula as one of the hydrogen hubs in Australia.

"The State Government has already named Whyalla as its prime site of interest, and there is commercial interest in developing operations there. Solar and wind farms being built in the vicinity.

"We've seen Clean Seas kingfish farmers come back to Whyalla, where they'd been some years previously. The industry faced some problems in the past, but they've got on top of those issues and are now producing 3,000 tonne of kingfish a year going into Europe and other international markets."