Federal Industry Minister Christopher Pyne will hear the Illawarra’s steel plight first-hand when he meets with a group of stakeholders later this month.
The round table meeting, to be held in Sydney on October 26, will include representatives from BlueScope Steel, the unions and state and federal politicians from both sides.
Federal Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis said the meeting would provide a follow-up to issues raised at a stakeholder round table, hosted by then-Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, in Wollongong on September 7.
“The changes with Bluescope Steel have brought to a head the challenges our region faces with employment and industry in our area,” Mrs Sudmalis said.
“I have briefed Minister Pyne on the uncertainty of the steel industry and other obstacles the South Coast faces in the coming years.
“Minister Pyne is driven and determined. He will be looking at the big picture for our region.”
Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra, and Kiama MP, Gareth Ward said political leaders from all sides – at all levels – must work together.
“There may be no silver bullet, but working in silos will not achieve anything either,” Mr Ward said.
“Working with the company, the union and our community is the best combination to combating this very serious issue.”
Mr Ward said he continued to work closely with NSW Industry Minister Anthony Roberts.
Mrs Sudmalis and Mr Ward have both briefed Mr Pyne separately in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, Shellharbour MP Anna Watson has questioned why another government “talkfest” was necessary, saying it was another delay in addressing the steel crisis.
“I think stakeholders in the Illawarra will simply be shaking their heads in disappointment that all we're getting from state and federal governments is more pointless meetings,” Ms Watson said.
“It's time for a little less conversation and more action.”