Following the announcement of further reductions in employees within OneSteel’s manufacturing operations, the Whyalla Chamber of Commerce and Industry is
confident that the actions demonstrate a transition to a sustainable long-term future for the company in the city.
Chamber President Ron Hay believes that the current challenges facing Australian steel-making, while significant, can be offset by growth in other sectors.
“Whyalla is once again in national focus as a result of OneSteel’s announcement to again reduce employment levels within the Company. The Australian steel industry has been under significant economic pressures for some time, with the high Australian dollar, a weak construction sector, a lack of local content requirements and competing in a global marketplace all likely contributing factors”, said Mr Hay.
“Firstly, while the steelmaking footprint for Whyalla is under review, employment levels will be reduced through natural attrition, not forced redundancies.”
“Importantly, the expansion in OneSteel‘s mining operations and port facilities have the potential to offset some of the reductions within manufacturing.
Effectively, we are witnessing growth in one part of OneSteel’s business, overshadowing the changes to the manufacturing arm.”
“We are not witnessing a withdrawal of OneSteel’s presence in Whyalla.”
While the loss of any local jobs is disappointing, the Whyalla community should not be downbeat about OneSteel’s or Whyalla’s future.
“I, along with the Chamber Executive, am concerned that the message going out is again one of doom and gloom for this community. In reality this is not the case.”
“The port expansion, along with other regional resources developments, will generate economic activity for local businesses and progress our community
towards a prosperous future, a future we should all embrace”, said Mr Hay.
The Whyalla Chamber of Commerce and Industry believes that OneSteel are reviewing their operations and staff requirements to ensure a sustainable future for the company and their valuable, ongoing operations in the Whyalla region.