The ASI has welcomed the South Australian Government’s announcement for all steelwork procured for public works to be independently tested and certified to Australian standards, also committing resources to making that happen. The State’s Industry Participation Advocate will liaise with the Crown Solicitor’s Office to revise the State’s procurement policies to specify that steel be sourced from mills with Australasian Certification Authority for Reinforcing and Structural Steel (ACRS) third party certification and for steelwork to come from steel fabricators independently certified to the recently created National Structural Steelwork Compliance Scheme (NSSCS). The State Government would also provide additional funding for managing compliance to the new requirements through the Advocate’s office and by providing grants to steel fabricators in the State to undertake certification under the NSSCS. ASI Chief Executive, Tony Dixon said the moves demonstrate that the South Australian Government maintains faith in the local industry and is serious about quality, value for money for the taxpayer and facilitating full, fair and reasonable opportunity to bid for project works. “Not only does this announcement cultivate a more level playing field for locally milled and fabricated steel by making sure procurement is based on quality-for-quality comparisons, it reflects the economic value of supply of the local supply chain,” he said. “It will also help stem the risk posed by non-compliant steels as Australia becomes more exposed to global supply chains, considering that structural steelwork is a critical safety element. “Our members are increasingly reporting alarming incidences with non-compliant imported steelwork such as poor welds, faults in protective coatings, design documentation supplied in foreign languages and forged certification records.” Mr Dixon said the two third party accreditation systems being proactively recognised by the Government are independent and tried and tested systems that will support the quality of buildings and the safety of the public. “We congratulate the South Australian Government for its support of the steel industry and especially to enhance the quality and business productivity of the dedicated SMEs that comprise the State’s steel fabrication sector,” he said. “The ASI stands by this policy development that will support much needed jobs growth in South Australia and will assist in any way we can to implement this great initiative.”