Steel pipe exporter faces legal battle over new steel pipe in Queensland
Steel pipe manufacturers are fighting a bid by the state government to prevent them from exporting steel pipe to Queensland because the product is used in the manufacture of other products.
The Queensland Steel Pipe Association has argued that the state is not exempt from the new import laws because it exports steel pipes to other states, and the state was not the source of the steel pipe that was used to make the new pipe.
The association’s legal action is expected to be heard by the Queensland Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The court has yet to decide on whether to rule in its favour.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the government is taking a cautious approach because it was considering banning the import of steel pipes.
But she says the state’s law is based on the same standards as the international standard and therefore can be applied equally to all products, including imported products.
“The law applies equally to imported and domestic products and is not a new one,” Ms Palasczuk said.
“If we were to apply a new standard that would make us less safe, that would be a different outcome.”
There is no other way to protect ourselves.
“Our focus is on protecting our steel industry and ensuring we continue to be competitive with the global economy and we will continue to pursue any new opportunities for growth that may come along.”
Queenslanders are buying more than two-thirds of the stateís steel pipe exports in the first half of this year, according to a survey by industry group CAA.
The Queensland Steel Plumbers and Pipefitters Association (QSPPA) estimates the industry exported about $20 million worth of steel pipe last year.
“It’s a big deal, it’s a very big deal,” Ms Cooper said.
Queenlanders have also been buying a lot of pipe and the industry expects to export more this year.
Quebec has become a major export destination for steel pipe due to strong demand from the United States and China.
It was the top destination in the world for steel products in 2017, overtaking Germany, which was second.
Queendom Steel Plumbing & Pipefitter Association chairman and CEO Andrew Cooper said there were already a lot more pipe factories in Queensland than ever before.
“They’ve been exporting for the last 20 years, they’ve been building up their business over the last five years,” Mr Cooper said of the Queensland Steel Industry.
“This is really the biggest thing for the industry and for the future.”