Australia has a unique steel industry that dates back to the early 1900s. Today the steel industry includes many companies that manufacture, cast and fabricate steel for numerous purposes. Each year 5.3 million tonnes of steel is produced in Australia, and as a whole, the industry has an annual turnover of $29 billion and contributes $11 billion to Australia’s GDP.
Since its birth at the time of Federation, Steel has become an extremely important part of the economy and the manufacturing and fabrication industry continue to support hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country.
Australian Jobs in the Steel Industry
Steel creates many jobs in the steel industry both direct and indirect. More Australians are employed in fabricating than in primary metal manufacturing, however, both contribute large numbers to the country’s manufacturing industry jobs.
• 52,100 Australians are employed in primary steel manufacturing
• 83,700 Australians are employed in fabricated steel manufacturing
Benefits to the Australian Economy
Steel is of a great benefit to the Australian economy. Here’s how it contributes as a multiplier for Australian steel products.
• $1.86 million is added to the economy for every $1 million.
• 16 workers have jobs through the FTE for every $1 million.
• $590,300 is generated in tax revenue for every $1 million.
History of the Steel Industry in Australia
Iron ore was found in South Australia in 1840 in Iron Knob, however, in the beginning, the industry focused on creating small amounts of pig iron as there wasn’t the expertise or infrastructure for large scale production.
The industrial revolution brought around many advancements in steel production technology as well as increased demand for steel worldwide. Australia’s first blast furnace was opened in 1901, launching the start of Australia’s steel industry. With plentiful natural resources and a demand for infrastructure like railways, the industry was beginning to boom.
Steel mills opened in Newcastle that sourced local coal and iron ore from South Australia, and within a few short decades, the industry was in full swing. Demanded increased significantly in the post-war era as there was a need to rebuild and develop modern infrastructure. Between the 1960s and 1980s, demand for steel rose from 4.6 million tonnes to 10 million tonnes.
Into the Modern Era
After the 1980s competition from overseas suppliers forced industry leaders to revamp the steel industry in Australia. New technologies were introduced to improve productivity and Australia began to specialise.
Today, Australia doesn’t produce steel in quantities as large as other large industrial nations, however, it is considered a leader in producing high-tensile steel and steel treated with high-tech coatings. Steel fabrication has also become a large industry in Australia, with a total output capacity of 1.6 million tonnes per year
If you’d like more information about steel production, and steel fabrication or if you need quality steel that is fabricated to suit your unique needs, contact Steel Fabrication Services today.
Our team of expert structural steel fabricators have the experience and knowledge to answer any of your questions and will ensure that you find the best solution to suit your needs. To contact us today, simply call, fax, email for information or a steel fabrication quote, or drop by our Brookvale location.