The Greens Party needs to explain how a Bill purporting to call for 100% Australian made steel use in infrastructure projects in NSW can actually take place when it proposes to also provide wide-ranging exemptions, Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson said today.

“This is another case of the Greens Party using the steel crisis for political partisanship and fuelling misleading media coverage rather than being honest with steel workers, unions and the community in the Illawarra.

“The Greens Party’s proposed steel bill doesn’t place a specific 100% figure anywhere in the Bill and actually specifies very wide-ranging exemptions to Australian made steel use in infrastructure projects which are publicly funded.

“The exemptions themselves, which are detailed in Section 3 of the Greens Party Bill simply waters down their intended 100% objective for Australian made steel use entirely.

“The Greens Party can’t logically propose legislation claiming to use 100% Australian made steel while at the same time offering wide-ranging exemptions from using such steel.

“It seems logic and consistency does not factor very much in the Greens Party’s proposed legislation”, she said.

Ms Watson also publicly released a briefing note (attached) from Greens Party MLC John Kaye from October 2015 which indicated that the proposed steel bill would “…set an objective of 90% per tonne…” Australian made steel use in state infrastructure projects.

“I think the Greens Party Bill should be placed under some further close scrutiny to tease out these very obvious inconsistencies in their proposed legislation”, she said.

Ms Watson said that her position remains that 90% Australian made steel use in infrastructure projects, as indicated in the Australian Worker’s Union (AWU) BIS Shrapnel report, would be an achievable benchmark from which to pursue changes to the State Government’s procurement policy.

See: Section 3 of Greens Party steel Bill & Greens Party briefing note

27 November 2015