Greens MP David Shoebridge and Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon are in Wollongong today meeting with Unions and steel workers to talk about plans to secure the future of the steel industry in the Illawarra.
With the final vote on the NSW Steel Protection Bill due next week, cross party support growing for a Federal Steel Protection Bill and local Coalition MP Gareth Ward refusing to even debate steel in the Illawarra, it essential that MPs are in the region to listen to steel workers and other residents.
Mr Shoebridge said, "We are in the Illawarra to again talk with steel workers and locals to build support for Steel Protection legislation at both a state and federal level.
"NSW is leading the way in putting forward cost effective, long term solutions to prevent the collapse of the industry. Governments around the country should sit up and take note.
"We are ready, willing and able to stand in the Illawarra and debate what's needed to support and expand the steel industry in the Illawarra. What we can't understand is why local Coalition MP Gareth Ward won't do the same," Mr Shoebridge said.
Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said, "When interstate Senators Jacqui Lambie and Nick Xenophon visited Wollongong I was encouraged that we can win more support for local steel procurement laws at a federal level.
"Ensuring a future for the steel industry in Port Kembla and Whyalla is a top priority for the Greens. The cross party support we have won for the NSW bill demonstrates what we can achieve in Canberra.
"My plan is for a bill for local steel procurement backed by as many crossbenchers and hopefully Labor to be introduced into the Senate before the end of the year. It will take some negotiating but we are starting from a good base with three parties already on board."