Senate debates

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Bills

Competition and Consumer Legislation Amendment (Small Business Access to Justice) Bill 2017; Second Reading

10:50 am

Photo of Nick XenophonNick Xenophon (SA, Nick Xenophon Team) Share this | Hansard source

No; I acknowledge his long contribution and his advocacy for the people of Queensland, and I do have genuine respect for him. But if he was fair dinkum about the issue of the steel industry and about government procurement—the federal government did not commit yesterday unequivocally to use Australian steel in the billions of dollars they will be spending on rail in this country. They did not commit to that. Instead, we hear all these protectionist arguments.

Every steel contract is important. But in the totality of what is occurring in the Australian steel industry, there are a whole range of measures: weak anti-dumping laws, and weak laws when it comes to procurement—which have been dealt with to some significant degree by the changes in procurement laws that my colleagues and I negotiated with the finance minister a number of months ago. But we need to—

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