Friday, April 13, 2012

Steel Industry in bed with Unions and the ALP!

BlueScope, Unions and Government all together!

What a union of back patters! We need big manufacturing businesses, government and unions - but not as it is displayed below.
The PHANTOM ROOFER from Queensland has filed this report on the state of steel manufacturing in Australia today.

First read this article in the AFR Small fry riled by steel "favourites" as reported in The Australian Financial Review. Here is the photo of the three main players in this report:

Industry meets government . . . from left: Ian Thomas and Paul Howes, with Wayne Swan Photo: Jesse Marlow
 From here on it is The Phantom Roofer Queensland!

To start with - industry (one only a Mr. Ian Thomas) meets a Union leader (Mr. Paul Howes) and a Government member (Mr. Wayne Swan)! 1:2 already, so lets sort out this member list of Members of Prime Minister's Taskforce on Manufacturing which includes the following:


  • The Hon Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister (Chair)
  • The Hon Greg Combet AM MP, Minister for Industry and Innovation; Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
  • Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Manufacturing; Minister for Defence Materiel (Deputy Chair)
  • The Hon Wayne Swan MP, Deputy Prime Minister; Treasurer
  • Senator the Hon Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research
  • Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation
  • The Hon Craig Emerson, Minister for Trade


  • Mr Philip Binns, Vice President and General Manager, Agilent Technologies
  • Mr Geoff Plummer, CEO, OneSteel
  • Mr Ian Thomas, President, Boeing
  • Ms Heather Ridout, CEO, AiGroup
  • Mr Mike Devereux, Chairman and Managing Director, Holden
  • Mr Chris Jenkins, MD, Thales
  • Mr Phil Butler, MD, Textor Technologies
  • Ms Rebecca Dee Bradbury, President and CEO, Kraft 


  • Mr Jeff Lawrence, National Secretary, ACTU
  • Mr Paul Howes, National Secretary, AWU
  • Mr David Oliver, National Secretary, AMWU
  • Mr Michael O’Connor, National Secretary, CFMEU
  • Mr Charlie Donnelly, National Secretary, NUW
  • Ms Michele O’Neil, National Secretary, TCFUA

Science and Technology

  • Professor Roy Green, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Business, University of Technology Sydney
  • Dr Megan Clark, Chief Executive, CSIRO
  • Professor Jonathan West, AIRC, University of Tasmania

Working groups

Two working groups support the Prime Minister's Taskforce on Manufacturing - a Deputy Secretaries Working Group and a technical working group.  The Deputy Secretaries Working Group steers and co-ordinates the input from government. It is chaired by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and includes:
  • the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • the Department of Treasury
  • the Department of Finance and Deregulation
  • the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
  • the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
  • the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government
  • the Department of Defence
  • Austrade
  • the Attorney-General's Department 
  • the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.
Additionally, a technical working group supports the taskforce.  This working group is comprised of stakeholders who consider out of session research and other papers.

Secretariat support 

A secretariat, located within the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education supports the taskforce. It includes seconded officers from other Australian Government departments.

Well - isn't this a great business representation! I won't go into the INDUSTRY members but Mr. Ian Thomas is on quite a few government committees like this ONE! Gravy train again.

But the worst is to come as stated by the AFR report on non UNION manufacturing.
  1. But Ms Piacentini said the government efforts amounted to little.
    Her fabrication facility in Melbourne’s western suburbs recently tendered to supply steel to a Kmart distribution centre in Queensland but was beaten by BlueScope Steel, from which Page Steel buys its raw steel in Australia.
    “BlueScope fabricated the entire thing offshore at their facilities overseas yet they’re getting $300 million from the government to keep manufacturing local,” she said. This one is not good as BlueScope are pulling the wool over the eyes of government and the unions - they have no idea how badly BlueScope want out of the union & ALP government movement! Unfortunately their management is too gutless to state this in the MSM!
  2. The owner of Wagga Wagga-based Steel Supplies, Shane Robinson, added that handouts to the big steel makers would not help the industry to survive.
    “Australians are gutless defeatists,” he said. “We lay down too quickly.” This highlights the anger in smaller manufacturing groups that the government is not listening to! Time to stand up!
  3. Boeing Australia president Jeff (The AFR article is wrong - it should read IAN) Thomas, who is a member of the Prime Minister’s manufacturing task force, said after the group met yesterday "that he expected regulation to be discussed at today’s Council of Australian Governments gathering". Big deal! He's on lots of government committees as described above - real dedication here!
  4. Local steel importers and fabric­ators say "the government is doing ­little to address the real issues, and instead giving BlueScope and One­Steel too many handouts, including the $300 million steel transformation package and more support to launch anti-dumping complaints". So pay the union dominated ALP affiliated manufacturing industries but not the SMALL FRY? Pretty obvious where the pay cheque comes from - Mr. Swan?
  5. Treasurer Wayne Swan said the government “fully understands the pressures facing some sectors like manufacturing – that’s why we are putting in place key reforms like a cut to the company tax rate”. Yes! more mumbo jumbo from this bloke - is he really listening to the small fry - NO! He's listening to the UNION organised big industry! What bloody key reforms??
  6. Mr Combet’s office said the government would “increase scrutiny of implementation of Australian industry participation plans” at resources projects that are seeking tariff concessions to ensure a fairer playing field. What a load of garbage - this is the CO2 TAX man the said it's only going to cost a sausage sandwich a week??? How out of touch is this bloke! The AIP scheme is now being challenged by all the major resource sector investors.  The RECIPE is add CO2 TAX, Mineral Resource TAX, AIP scheme, RET etc and then they have the hide to tell state governments to reduce GREEN AND RED TAPE?????? Mr. Combet - increase scrutiny of implementation of your own motives here please!
  7. Steel Solutions is a privately owned business that already sells steel and steel fences to major resource projects. But Mr Robinson said "the cost of importing tubular steel to manufacture fences had spiked by 10 per cent because of an interim duty placed on imports resulting from an anti-dumping claim lodged by OneSteel."
    “We’d buy locally if we could but BlueScope and OneSteel won’t sell to me because we’re too small so I have to import,” Mr Robinson said.
    “On top of that we’re stung by the carbon tax, which we get no assistance for.” This is getting to the heart of the manufacturing industry - join the ALP & the UNIONS or get stuffed!
  8. The chief executive of Gold Coast-based Digga Machinery, Suzie Wright, said "it was cheaper to import completed fabrications than it was to buy the raw steel from local distributors as a result of BlueScope and OneSteel’s market domination."
    Her company is setting up a factory in the United States to build gear boxes and augurs because the high Australian dollar makes exporting from local operations unprofitable.
    “We’ve fought long and hard to keep manufacturing here in Australia but we just can’t do it any more,” Ms Wright said, adding to the chorus of complaints against the price of sourcing steel from Australia. “If we could buy steel for the same price that the Chinese can, we’d have a chance.” Are the government and unions listening to any of these complaints?? NO they are not! Digga Machinery is an iconic Aussie Industry and we will loose this company to overseas. What do Wayne, Greg and Paul think - well nothing really - because Digga is not a UNION or ALP business - do you get the drift here?
  9. The AWU’s Mr Howes was supportive of measures to include Australian content in big projects, he admitted the biggest challenge facing the local steel industry was the high currency, and blasted the Reserve Bank of Australia for not cutting interest rates to assist. Oh really Mr. It Only Costs a Sausage Sandwich a Week leader of UNION of all UNIONS - get real - get out and live in a small business like Digga Machinery, Steel Solutions, Steel Supplies and Page Steel - you may just realise how out of touch you are with the new Australia and its majority of workers and the owners of these small businesses that employ 100's thousands in the steel industry! You Sir - need some hard days as a normal every day worker!
Thank you Phantom Roofer Queensland for this article - as for the AFR, this is a first - it has reported on the truth as to the state of steel manufacturing in Australia and not just the government media releases.

What really gets me is this following statement by Mr. Combet:
"The government would introduce new measures to give ­manufacturers more opportunities to take part in government-funded construction programs and resources projects worth more than $2 billion."
Good grief - is this bloke on drugs? Look at the answer "the government would" - means maybe nothing at all! "more opportunities" - means nothing! " government funded construction programs" - means nothing! " all worth more than "$2 Billion" - means nothing (all UNION directed)!

I appreciate the contribution of the manufacturers "Digga Machinery, Steel Solutions, Steel Supplies and Page Steel" for their boldness and dedication to their industry and probably the end of any government contracts since this article in the AFR!

This domination of stupidity by government, unions and their big business bed partners has got to end - and SOON! OH! don't forget to contact the MAN of STEEL - Mr. Peter Beattie - another Gravy Train man of the ALP and UNION group!


  1. Roofer - One of the best articles on here in recent times. What frustrates me is the list of manufacturers 90% are multinationals and as the article points out are clearly in bed with the Government. Kim Carr, and Beattie should be sacked what a waste of space and tax dollars.
    The market dominance of OneSteel and BlueScope is a joke the ACCC has long been a toothless tiger and the industry is suffering as a result. With your previous article about the import of base steel coils its no wonder that Lysaght can offer the pricing they do in the market place. I would love to see an ACCC investigation into the Cartel that is BlueScope/Lysaght but noone has the guts to get their hands dirty.

  2. SW - exactly right - but I must explain the article came from an independant rollformer from Queensland who is sick and tired of this current government, the ACCC, dominance by BlueScope and OneSteel, and the fact that manufacturing is dying rapidly in Australia today. This is only one of many!

    The praise should go to the Phantom Rollformer in QLD.

    I say that we, as an industry are being dominated by BlueScope/Union/ALP business as far as coil supply is concerned! It MUST STOP!