Steel makers want answers on foreign suppliers to port

Steel makers pressure WA Premier to reveal any foreign supply agreements for Oakajee port project

Steel makers have put pressure on Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett to reveal full details of any foreign supply agreements to do with the Port Oakajee project.

Industry peak body the Australian Steel Industry, the organisation responsible for the complete steel supply chain from manufacturers to distributors, says Australian companies need to know if their Chinese counterparts will be responsible for the construction of railways and roads at the project.

"With over $700 million of federal and state money earmarked to support the Oakajee project, the Australian public deserves and should be entitled to hear exactly what Premier Barnett has promised overseas interests in his pursuit of foreign investments," Chief Executive Don McDonald says.

According to ASI there have been reports the China Communications Construction Company has been appointed as the ports design consultant, while an alliance had been set up with the China Rail Construction Company.

"None of our members report any approach being made to the Oakajee development," McDonald says.

"While the rumour mill has been working overtime since the Premier left these shores [on a visit to China] as to exactly what he is negotiating with those foreign interests, local industry has been left out in the cold."

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