It is suggested that such a statement from Mr Combet could expand government-mandated Australian industry participation on large resources projects.
APIA Chief Executive Cheryl Cartwright said “Australia’s specialised linepipe manufacturers have already closed – for good – because the recent major new work for the industry has been granted to imported products and companies.
“The Government’s taskforce, led by former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie, had been warned of this imminent closure and Mr Beattie had been urged to speak publicly, particularly in Queensland, on behalf of the industry, but to no avail.
“Steel linepipe manufacturing sections of BlueScope Steel and OneSteel and linepipe coaters BrederoShaw, based in Wollongong, have closed, and manufacturer Orrcon has transferred its operations to become a linepipe importer.Article continues below…
“Critical skills in the Australian industry are in danger of being lost due to the increasing tendency of major companies to purchase from overseas manufacturers, although the highly skilled Australian personnel are often called on to deal with problems associated with imported products.
“While APIA welcomes government moves to stem the tide of manufacturing closures and improve the competitive edge of Australian businesses, this time it is too late for our manufacturers."