Dear Prime Minister,
Thank you for coming to our region and basking in the glory of the exemption of Australia from new US steel and aluminium tariffs.
That news is clearly welcomed by BlueScope and is good news for the Illawarra.
It was also nice of you to mention the fast rail project in Newcastle your government is investing in and the $4billion dollars available for “regional” Australia through the sale of the Snowy hydro scheme.
The only problem is Prime Minister, we are not classed as “regional” by the NSW Liberal Government and get completely “shunted” when it comes to investment in roads and rail.
If you care enough to do something else to actually help this “region” then maybe that’s a good place to start.
Yours in anticipation, the Illawarra.
This is our open letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the front page of the March 13 edition of the Illawarra Mercury.
In no way are we trying to downplay the importance or international significance of the fact BlueScope and Australian steel and aluminium will be free from US tariffs. It is a significant milestone or moment in history without doubt.
Granted the announcement is good news for jobs here and for many of the company’s workers employed in the US as well.
Yet in all honesty, the visit by the Prime Minister on Monday was little more than a photo opportunity and the Port Kembla steelworks served its purpose as being the world’s most expensive prop for the day. Quite perfectly, we might add.
This region has long been crying out for a greater piece of the federal infrastructure pie and a greater consideration on the back of our growing areas needs for better rail and road surfaces.
It came following news the Federal Government has agreed to fund a prospectus for a faster rail line to Newcastle.
In answer to a question about the South Coast line during the picturesque media opportunity on Monday morning, Mr Turnbull went into talking about all the money becoming available for regions from the sale of the Snowy hydro sale. Which, of course, we don’t qualify for because the NSW Government opts to selective leave us out.
We’re sorry Prime Minister, but in terms of taking a political opportunity for some grandstanding on Monday, you came up Trumps.