The Australian Greens will move a Second Reading Amendment calling on the government to pay regard to green jobs plans in allocating funding from its Steel Transformation Plan and will then support the bill in both houses of parliament.
"The Greens have always said that we want to make sure that any plan for the steel industry helps workers and industry get onto a stronger, greener footing," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
"We hope that the government seriously considers our amendment but, regardless, unlike Tony Abbott, we aren't going to leave workers in the lurch.
"Given how much time Tony Abbott and his colleagues have spent scare-mongering in the Illawarra and Whyalla, the hypocrisy of the Liberals in flat out opposing this plan is breath-taking.
"This is a separate bill from the Clean Energy Future package, with a separate vote.
"Make no mistake, this is a case of Tony Abbott grandstanding in steel towns when he has never had any real intention of actually supporting workers."
The amendment, to be moved in the Senate in November, moves ‘that the Government, in allocating funds under the.Steel Transformation Plan, pay particular regard to the Green Jobs Illawarra Action Plan and any other similar plans in other affected regions.'
Greens MP and spokesperson on Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Adam Bandt, said "The Greens have consulted widely with unions and experts in recent months and been shown local plans like the one developed by the South Coast Labour Council, University of Wollongong, Illawarra TAFE, Illawarra Business Chamber and the Australian Industry Group..
"This is the kind of work that the government should be helping to develop and support through the Steel Transformation Plan."
Senator Milne is this afternoon meeting representatives from both BlueScope and OneSteel. She will be raising BlueScope's decision to give its executives $3 million in bonuses while sacking 1000 workers very shortly after the $300 million steel plan was announced.
"I will be asking BlueScope to overturn that decision today," Senator Milne said
"Dick Warburton, as chair of Manufacturing Australia, also has questions to answer as to where his condemnation of Tony Abbott's rejection of the steel plan is. Is he in fact more interested in supporting Mr Abbott than supporting workers in the manufacturing industry?"