The ASI would like to make it very clear it does not propose any form of mandates, tariffs, subsidies or other protectionism measures, but is pushing for a clearer and fairer approach to facilitating local industry engagement within WTO guidelines.

The ASI is calling for a more coordinated approach to assessing major project proposals more strongly linked to Australian Industry Participation (AIP) policies to help ensure wider economic benefits flow from extracting non-renewable national assets and also other major projects including infrastructure (roads, bridges, ports, etc) and renewables (wind farms, solar projects, etc).

The policy proposal was presented to the Federal Government, the Coalition parties and representatives from the Independents at separate Parliamentary Forums late August.

The ASI’s proposed policy direction aims at enhancing the current AIP regimes with stronger guidelines, accountability and transparency.

“AIP plans should be compulsory for all projects, public or private with a value greater than $100 million,” said ASI Chief Executive, Don McDonald.

“These plans would form an integral part of the approvals process similar to current environmental plans for those projects, the key test being the valued-added benefit to the Australian economy.”

Factors like the extent of jobs creation and skills development would be crucial elements considered as part of the approvals process.

The Australian Government would be responsible for the policy and its administration through DIISR in agreement with the relevant State Ministers attained through COAG.

“There is a clear and urgent need for Government leadership and a whole-of-government approach supported by the range of policy measures we propose to address the dire plight of our industry which is caused by lack of local demand,” Mr McDonald said.

“In the past few days there has been a lot of ‘noise’ about protectionism and non-compliance to international obligations (WTO), and we reject this approach.”