SA government pledges $50 m to upgrade Arrium’s ailing Whyalla steelworks

The South Australian government has pledged $50 million to assist in saving the Whyalla steelworks, requesting that both sides of federal politics also commit to co-investment in the facility.

AAP reports that SA premier Jay Weatherill has written to both prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and opposition leader Bill Shorten, both currently campaigning for the July 2 federal election, and asked that the federal parties pledge a further $100 million.

Without assistance, the steelworks would not survive, said the premier.

Of the $50 million pledged, the SA government said in a statement that it “will be placed in a facility that can only be accessed by a new owner if it is used to support the operations at Whyalla.”

The Arrium group of companies went into voluntary administration in April, owing around $4 billion. Administrator KordaMentha has said the steelworks, which are Whyalla’s major employer as well as a loss-making operation, have been “under-invested in for some period of time”.

KordaMentha launched an investigation this week into the lead-up to Arrium’s collapse.

It believes the recapitalisation/ sale of the companies will begin next month and will be largely complete by the end of the year.