11/09/2009 - 09:12

No WA members on national steel council

11/09/2009 - 09:12

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Just days after controversy over the limited use of Australian steel on big resources projects, the federal government has announced a Steel Industry Innovation Council, though it has no Western Australian members.

Just days after controversy over the limited use of Australian steel on big resources projects, the federal government has announced a Steel Industry Innovation Council, though it has no Western Australian members.

Federal Innovation Minister Kim Carr said the council will maximise opportunities for the Australian steel industries to participate in major projects in Australia and overseas.

"This Council has a key role in making sure Australia's steel industry is sustainable and innovative," Senator Carr said.

"The Council's establishment is recognition of the immense challenges the industry faces, both from the global recession and the increasingly competitive international environment."

The council will be chaired by Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research secretary Mark Paterson.

Other members include Bluescope Steel boss Paul O'Malley, OneSteel chief executive Geoff Plummer, Australian Workers' Union national secretary Paul Howes and Australian Steel Institute chief executive Don McDonald.

The council is part of the federal government's three-pronged approach to encourage the use of Australian steel in resource projects, first flagged in July.

The council's establishment comes days after the Australian Steel Institute again raised concerns that local steel makers could be locked out of supply contract for the $50 billion Gorgon gas project.

The steel group's concerns stemmed from changes to the design standards of steel for the project, which have changed from Australian standards to Japanese.

The group had also raised concerns that local steelmakers were not being given a fair go for the Oakajee port and rail project, with Premier Colin Barnett emphasising the importance of China's involvement with the $4 billion project.

 

 

The announcement is below:

 

 

A new Steel Industry Innovation Council will maximise opportunities for the Australian steel industry to participate in major projects in Australia and overseas.

Announcing the council's membership today, Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, said the Council is made up of the most senior members of the Australian steel industry.

"Steel is a core Australian industry because it allows us to go on making things, it underpins manufacturing, construction, transport and more," Senator Carr said.

"This Council has a key role in making sure Australia's steel industry is sustainable and innovative. The Council's establishment is recognition of the immense challenges the industry faces, both from the global recession and the increasingly competitive international environment.

"Each member will bring unique and valuable industry expertise to the Council."

The Council will be chaired by Mark Paterson AO, Secretary of the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

"The Council will advise me on appointing a Steel Supplier Advocate to forge connections within the steel supply chain and between Australian steel producers and fabricators and major project proponents," Senator Carr said.

"It will also advise the Australian Government on ways to use programs like Enterprise Connect and the Industry Capability Network to assist the industry to become more creative, productive and globally competitive.

"This will include providing coordinated business support for steel fabricators through Enterprise Connect manufacturing centres, building upon other initiatives to strengthen the Australian Industry Participation (AIP) framework I have recently announced."

A list of Council members is given below.

Members of the Steel Industry Innovation Council

Mr Mark Paterson AO, Secretary, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (Chair)

Mr Paul O'Malley, Managing Director and CEO, BlueScope Steel Ltd

Mr Geoff Plummer, Managing Director and CEO, OneSteel Ltd

Mr Paul Howes, National Secretary, Australian Workers' Union

Mr Julius Roe, National President, Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union

Mr Don McDonald, CEO, Australian Steel Institute

Dr Steve Morton, Group Executive, Manufacturing, Materials & Minerals, CSIRO

Professor Lyndon Edwards, Australian Nuclear Science Technology Organisation

Professor Gerard Sutton, Vice Chancellor, University of Wollongong

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