The ASI has welcomed the announcement by South Australian Treasurer, Tom Koutsantonis that the State will specify independent testing and verification of steel and steelwork for safer and more environmentally sustainable public works.

The Government will establish a third-party audit process to ensure contractors adhere to the new steelwork compliance scheme as well as providing information on State Government assistance now available for local steel fabricators to become certified.

The announcement was made at the special Steel Summit at Adelaide Convention Centre which was convened to bring together participants from all facets of the Australian steel supply chain to explain the aims of the State’s recently created Steel Certification Policy.

This follows the State Government announcing in late 2015 that all State Government construction builds will use steel only from Australian-standard certified fabricators and mills in response to growing evidence of unfair trade practices and inferior imports.

It also provided a forum for the Government and steel industry stakeholders to compare notes on how to maximise value creation and lower risk for the State from more sustainable procurement practices for major public works and was attended by representatives from construction and building companies, industry groups, contractors, architects, steelmakers and fabricators.

ASI Chief Executive, Tony Dixon said that the Government’s new commitment provides the missing link in achieving seamless supply channels for the steelwork for public projects.

“Steelwork which is commonly depended on for structural support is clearly a safety-critical item and for that reason alone needs to comply with established standards as the growing spate of building failures due to non-conforming building products attests,” he said.

“Australia Standards are recognised as some of the world’s most rigorous befitting the nation’s standing as an advanced economy with safety, environmental sustainability and ethical business behaviours held in high regard.

“The Australian steel industry supports the current efforts of the South Australian Government to build its public works procurement regime to embrace the highest of safety standards by making sure steelwork is fit for purpose.

“The South Australian approach is a sound viable model for safe and sustainable procurement and we would encourage other States to adopt this position.”