The Welding Technology Institute of Australia has written to all federal MPs and senators, requesting laws that properly support the local steel industry.
The WTIA has requested mandatory standards be enforced for raw and fabricated steel imports, as well as procurement policies that support greater use of locally-made product.
Geoff Crittendon, the organisation’s CEO, said cheap, low-quality imports needed to be dealt with, for reasons of safety and the continuation of the local steel industry.
“Buying cheap, imported steel is not a cost saving if a structure fails, for example, because the steel has a high boron content, which weakens the welds,” Crittendon said in a statement.
“If product data sheets are missing or falsified, a welder does not know to use extra precautions with high boron content steel.”
Local steel manufacturers Arrium and BlueScope have come under stiff competition from cheap products, especially dumped steel from China, which has a local glut.
Last month a report from BIS Shrapnel recommended nine-tenths of steel procured by government be locally made, which would cost an extra $61 to $80 million but "in all probability, keep both local steelmakers in production"