The ASI has welcomed the Victorian Labor Party’s pledge to maximise Australian steel on key infrastructure project commitments if elected at this weekend’s State poll. The ASI particularly praises the commitment to use 100 percent local steel to fix 50 of the State’s most dangerous and congested level crossings if it wins office. “This would provide great use of taxpayers’ funds that would be repaid through quality products supplied efficiently by the local steel supply chain,” said ASI National Manager - Industry Development and Government Relations, Ian Cairns. “Australian steel is more flexible to design changes, is usually supplied on a just in time (JIT) basis without the uncertainty of shipping schedules and provides guaranteed, insured payment terms. That is in addition to supporting local jobs, apprenticeships, skills development and the community at large.” He said that was apart from over 45,000 jobs in the Victorian steel value chain that the commitment would also help sustain. “We are also encouraged by Opposition Leader, Daniel Andrews’ pledge to maximise the use of local steel on the West Gate Distributor and we look forward to a 100 percent commitment on this project as soon as it was fully scoped. Its pledge to specify minimum local content targets for strategic projects and lower the threshold for defining strategic projects by half to $50 million should create even more opportunities for local industry. “That is on top of Labor’s stated commitment to reinforce Victorian Industry Participation policies across all Government departments and agencies. The ASI and industry stand ready to assist in the checks and balances needed to ensure that all parties deliver on the commitments to maximize use of local steel,” Mr Cairns said. “We urge other States, especially NSW in the lead up to its election in March to take a similar strong stance to that shown in Victoria and support local content and local jobs in their upcoming infrastructure spends.”