Department of State Development

04 Apr 2016 Resources, Industry

Government, Task Force still working to support Whyalla steel workers

The South Australian Government continues to work with the Commonwealth and financiers to secure the future for Whyalla’s steel workers following Arrium’s request for a trading halt of its shares

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said the Steel Task Force has been speaking to all of the parties involved in the negotiations about Arrium’s future to ensure that Whyalla continues to operate as a steel producer.

“The workforce at Arrium and their well being is our number one priority,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“Both the State and Federal Governments are working diligently to resolve the current situation so that the steel works at Whyalla and the associated mines can continue to operate.

"The company employs more than 7000 people across Australia and 22,000 around the world.

"It is a vital national asset and both levels of government are working to ensure its ongoing viability.

“Our target is to secure the steel works as a continuing operation to provide a period of certainty to achieve improved efficiencies and new investment.

“The future of Arrium is still to be decided. The company, its creditors and potential financiers are still locked in negotiations to resolve the company’s financial situation.

“At the weekend, the Premier spoke with the Prime Minister to update him on the situation. They agreed that the principal objective is the continuity of the business operations at Whyalla.

"I also spoke with Federal Minister for Industry and Innovation Chris Pyne.

“This is a complicated situation and there is no simple answer to the challenges that need to be resolved but we are all working to ensure that securing a future for Whyalla remains front and centre of our efforts.

“There is a lot at stake here for South Australia and indeed the nation.

“Our nation’s sovereignty relies on Australia continuing to produce its own steel.

“We will also continue to work with Local Member for Giles Eddie Hughes to campaign for the use of steel, produced in Whyalla, in taxpayer-funded projects.

The South Australian Government mandated the use of Australian-Standard steel following a push by Mr Hughes to support the Australian steel industry.