An article entitled Infrastructure boom runs short of engineers, electricians and steel ran in the AFR of 24 June 2019. Phil Casey, Interim Chief Executive of the Australian Steel Institute commented:
“The decision by contractors on the West Gate Tunnel project to use some imported fabricated steel should not be extrapolated to imply there is a shortage of domestic steel for major infrastructure projects (“Infrastructure booms runs short of engineers, electricians and steel”, June 24).
“In the case cited in your story, head contractor John Holland decided to source approximately 30,000 tonnes of bridge beams from its state-owned sister company in China, ZPMC, after it claimed the domestic industry was not able to deliver the beams in the timeframe it required. The domestic steel industry was very disappointed at this outcome, which we believe could have been avoided with timely and committed engagement between John Holland and the local industry.
“There is no shortage of domestic steel production and fabrication capacity, as is evidenced by the awarding of the majority of steel to date for the West Gate project to local suppliers. Steel fabricators and the ASI urge early engagement by major contractors to avoid last-minute procurement decisions. We are ready and willing to work closely with governments and project proponents to understand the pipeline of works so that our industry can continue to invest confidently for the future.
“Purchasing Australian steel products not only generates local jobs, investment and tax revenue – it also ensures adherence to strict quality and workplace safety standards that enhance the integrity and sustainability of Australian manufactured products.”