Port Kembla steel workers have received a kick in the teeth from the Federal Government, which has declined to accept a single one of 28 recommendations from a Senate inquiry into the steel industry.
It has taken the Government more than a year to decide to do nothing - it has had the Senate Economics Committee's final report since December 2017, but handed down its rebuff only this Thursday.
The inquiry into the Future of Australia's Steel Industry started work in 2016 in response to the crisis affecting steelmakers BlueScope and Arrium. It held hearings in Wollongong, Whyalla and Canberra and received 45 submissions from governments, industry organisations, individuals and companies.
The 28 recommendations in its final report included maximising the use of local steel in government projects, a new quality certification program for steel products, ensuring procurement rules are implemented properly, and developing a national steel policy.
None of these were accepted by the Government.
Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird said the inquiry's work had been "shafted".
"It's really disappointing - for the steel industry nationally, but obviously for us locally," she said.
"I just think it's completely inadequate if you're serious about supporting a steel industry. It is a critically important industry; it is critically important to our region.
"The committee makes [recommendations] around the application of standards, of industry participation plans, of an advocate - I would think they were perfectly reasonable was in which you could take action to maximise the future of our Australian steel industry."
But it was not clear whether Labor's policy was to accept all of the 28 recommendations.
Ms Bird said this would be reviewed "once Labor has the full facilities of government".
"Since the tabling of the Senate report Labor has been guided by the vast majority of the recommendations of the report in developing and announcing policies over the past 12 months," she said.
"The Senate recommendations have influenced Labor’s Local Projects, Local Jobs plan, a steel plan, Australian Industry Participation policy, strengthening of the anti-dumping system, the establishment of a national licensing scheme for all building practitioners, and a penalties regime for all building practitioners and companies who knowingly use non-compliant materials – including steel.
"The remaining recommendations will be reviewed once Labor has the full facilities of government."
The Government's response to the inquiry said it had introduced steps to improve access for local companies, and requirements for tenders for government work to advise how much local material they would use.