AMWU attacks Snowy Hydro purchase of imported steel

The revelation by @AuManufacturing news that the majority of the steel components for the Snowy 2.0 scheme will be built using imported steel shows that the federal government has no commitment to growing the Australian manufacturing industry, according to the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union NSW & ACT branch.

The AMWU has long called for local content requirements on major infrastructure projects like Snowy 2.0 which was touted as a $5 billion nation and company-building project when announced by the government.

State ANWU secretary Cory Wright told @AuManufacturing news: “We hear constantly that Australian industry doesn’t have the capacity to make things, and that’s why governments turn to offshoring.

“But what we see in this instance is that there is no will from governments or businesses to build the capacity of our industries to meet procurement demands.

The AMWU criticism comes as neither Snowy Hydro nor the industry minister Angus Taylor have yet provided responses to @AuManufacturing’s story, as spokesmen initially promised.

Snowy Hydro initially said “Thanks for this. Will come back to you asap”, however has provided no written response.

A spokesman for Taylor asked @AuManufacturing to provide ‘your updated copy’ and then went silent. It is not @AuManufacturing’s policy to provide copy in advance to sources, though in this case we provided an excerpt. Nothing more has been heard from Taylor.

The AMWU’s Wright said Australia needed governments at all levels to commit to using local content, because when they do, our industries grow, and our workers can be upskilled. And when we skill up our young workers and retrain older ones, we are ensuring that these workers can plan for their futures thanks to good, secure jobs.

“Snowy 2.0 was meant to be a nation building project like its predecessor, but by ignoring procurement targets and failing to utilise Australian steel for the majority of the project, the government has shown that it does not care about the long-term impact of Snowy 2.0 on working people and families.

“We must put an end to the line of thought that the lowest-cost option is the better one.

“It stagnates opportunities and growth for industries, kills off innovation and starves working people and families of opportunities to gain skills that can support them for a lifetime.”

Wright said that offshoring and other ‘so-called efficiencies’ have killed off whole industries, decimating communities.

“We need to get back to being a country that makes things, with strong supply chains and a skilled workforce.”

@AuManufacturing reported that 7,000 tonnes of steel for the manufacture of penstocks that supply water to the hydro generators would be imported from Italy, despite the original tender requiring Australian steel to be used.

Picture: Australian Renewable Energy Agency

Subscribe to our free @AuManufacturing newsletter here.

Share this Story

Stay Informed

Go to Top