Commerce Minister Simon O'Brien today announced more that $82,000 in State Government funding to the Australian Steel Institute (ASI) to assist the Western Australian steel fabrication industry.
Mr O'Brien said the Government was conscious steel fabricators were in a tough battle to win local resource project contracts.
“While demand is strong, changes in technology, the increased presence of Asian fabrication yards and the strength of the Australian dollar are all impacting upon the competitiveness of local businesses,” he said.
“This funding will enable ASI to engage expert assistance to consider how the industry could present ‘value for money solutions’ to project proponents.
“Potential strategies will include the possible formation of alliances and joint ventures, both within WA and with external partners.”
The Minister said the Government was pleased to work with the ASI and its members on initiatives to enhance productivity and performance.
“It is important WA retains a viable steel fabrication, manufacturing and supply industry to service project requirements, during construction and operational phases,” he said.
“This funding is a vital step in achieving a shared vision between industry, the Government and resource project proponents. The Government understands the concerns of the industry and will assist in managing change to maximise benefits.
“This strategy is in addition to our local content framework which has already resulted in more than $16.5billion of contracts going to local companies since July 2011.
“This translates into thousands of jobs for Western Australians, which is why we have the lowest unemployment rate of any Australian State.”
Minister’s office - 6552 5800