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Small Grants assist local steel industry win new work and grow jobs

Thursday, 03 November 2016

Two of the State’s leading steel fabricators are the first to receive Capability Development grants designed to help them win new work, create jobs and boost the local economy.

The two firms, Samaras Structural Engineers and Bowhill Engineering have received $42,000 and $10,000 respectively under the State Government’s Steel Certification Initiative. The initiative is part of the government’s $4.3 million funding package to help local the state’s steel fabricators win work by gaining critical certification standards.

Announcing the grants today, Small Business Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith said the South Australian steel industry faced major challenges, including competing against unfair overseas competition and the grants are part of government initiatives to support the local sector.

Background

Late last year the State Government announced a new steel policy that mandates all State Government construction builds use steel only from Australian-standard certified fabricators and mills.

The Steel Taskforce has been working with the Industry Participation Advocate on initiatives to help ensure steelmakers and fabricators can compete fairly for local contracts, giving the industry a competitive edge against low quality imports.

The Office of the Industry Advocate is responsible for the Steel Economic Participation Policy and is rolling out the Steel Certification Scheme in conjunction with the Australian Steel Institute.

Quotes attributable to Small Business Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith

The local steel industry is under enormous pressure from a global oversupply of steel, which is leading to a combination of unfair competition from abroad and a rapid downturn in prices.

All State Government projects are now required to use steel which meets Australian Standards and certification, giving the local steel industry a competitive advantage against lower quality imports.

The quality of steel fabrication undertaken by South Australian companies, including the use of high quality Australian steel, can be used to provide a competitive advantage for local companies tendering for work with the State Government.

The success of these South Australian businesses achieving the highest level of certification assists in securing the steel industries future within South Australia and forges a pathway for more South Australian steel fabricators.