Manufacturing News

Fed opposition would remove carbon tax, help steel industry: Abbott

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has said that removing a price on carbon and red tape would be a massive boost to the steel industry during a fundraiser held in Wollongong.

Abbott said that the price on carbon had caused enormous harm to steelmakers, and high power prices and regulation were hurting BlueScope.

"If we can get the price of power down, if we can try to ensure that the cost of doing business is reduced, if we can get the red and the green tape off, if we can get the workplace relations pendulum back to the sensible centre, we give them a level playing field, we give them a fighting chance," the ABC reports Abbott as saying.

"Government policy has been to make energy so expensive that we have other red tape challenges which mean Bluescope are in trouble as a steel maker and I want to change that."

The opposition leader, who is likely to be the next Prime Minister based on opinion polls, also suggested there was a changed mood, noting the large attendance at the event, held what is historically Labor territory.

Labor’s local MP, Sharon Bird, dismissed the visit and the Coalition’s commitment to the steel industry.

"Mr Abbott turned up in Wollongong to hold a fundraiser and then immediately left the place," Bird said.

"They voted in the parliament against the steel assistance plan."

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