Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson today said the Member for Kiama Gareth Ward was floundering on the State Government’s response to the steel crisis following a media interview on ABC Illawarra this morning.

“Gareth Ward’s interview this morning simply confirmed that he is being kept out of the loop on what response the State Government has planned as part of its contribution to addressing the steel crisis in the Illawarra.

“It is quite obvious that whatever the State Government’s response will be is being negotiated between Ministers at the level of the federal and state governments.

“Mr Ward is not a Minister and is quite obviously not aware of what details are being discussed.

“His interview on ABC Illawarra this morning was full of hollow words and bluster.

“He even made basic factual errors, including suggesting that the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) between BlueScope Steel and the Australian Workers Union (AWU) needed to be finalised before the State Government could provide its response.

“Negotiations for a new EBA have been placed on hold by agreement between the two parties, as mediation takes priority between the company and the union”, she said.

Ms Watson said the she was very disappointed Mr Ward could not attend the rally attended by over 1,000 people making clear their support for the steel industry in the Illawarra.

“Usually you can’t get between Mr Ward and a camera, but he was a no show at the Saturday rally.

“People approached me at the rally indicating they were very angry that Mr Ward and other Liberal MPs at state and federal level were not there to show support for the steel industry in the region”, she said.

21 September 2015