PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 5909

JOINT STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER AND MR LAURIE SHORT, NATIONAL SECRETARY OF THE FEDERATED IRONWORKERS ASSOCIATION

Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 15/09/1982

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 5909

PRIME MINISTER
FOR MEDIA .5 SEPTEMBER 1982
JOINT STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER AND MR LAURIE SHORT,
NATIONAL SECRETARY OF THE FEDERATED IRONWORKERS ASSOCIATION
Discussions were held today between the Prime Minister and
senior Ministers and a delegation from the Federated
Ironworkers Association.
The FIA delegation comprised:
Mr Laurie Short, National Secretary
Mr Joe Caesar, National President
Mr Harry Hurrell, Assistant National Secretary
Mr Bill Hopkins, National Vice-President
Mr Peter Kelly, Director, Public Affairs
As a result of a request put today by the Federated Ironworkers
Association, the Government has decided that an Industry
Coun Cil will be established, to advise the Government on
matters affecting the iron and steel industry in Australia.
The new Council will be chaired by either the
Minister for Industry and Commerce or the Minister for
Emnployment and Industrial Relations, depending on the issues
before it at particular times.
The FIA will be putting its view to the Government concerning
membership and terms of reference for the council.
The Government, for its part, will be seeking urgently the
views of the ACTU and the industry concerning the Council's
membership and terms of reference with a view to conducting
the first meeting of the Council as soon as possible.
It was accepted by both the FIA and the Government that a long
period of restructuring will be necessary if Australia is to
have a viable, efficient and profitable steel industry. It is
the view of both the Association and the Government that,
with plentiful supplies of iron ore and coal in Australia,
there should be a strong and viable steel industry in this
country. This is a firm-objective of the Government. / 2
J1 AUSTRALIA

-2
A great deal has to be done by all parties concerned to overcome
the industry's current difficulties and to establish firmly
the future viability of the industry.
The Government informed the Association that it has made its
decision in relation to the recent TAA Report, and that
the decision could not be varied without further
reference to either the IAC or to the TAA. If the industry
made out a case for a further referenc e to the TAA to the
Department of Industry and Commerce, the Government would
examine any such case as a matter of urgency.
It was apparent from the discussions that there were differing
perceptions by the Government and the FIA as to the reasons
for the redundancies announced yesterday by BHP. it was
agreed that this was a matter that required clarification, and that
it would be discussed at the first meeting of the industry
council.
The Government indicated to the FIA that its objective would
be to have the membership and terms of reference of the new Council
established to enable its first meeting to be held as quickly
as possible, but certainly within a month.
That meeting would, therefore, be held before any of the
redundancies announced by BHP begin to be put into effect.
The Government would also be seeking the views of the unions
and the industry regarding those matters that ought to be
listed on the first agenda at that meeting.
It was noted that the report of the IAC into long term assistance
to the steel industry is currently due in May of next year.
The Governme ' nt will examine the feasibility of that report
being made available earlier. It was also noted that when the
IAC's draft report becomes available it would be the subject
of consideration by the Industry Council.

Transcript 5909