Dan Tehan and the Turnbull Government have betrayed workers and local companies in Western Victoria by sending the $5 billion LAND 400 contract to Queensland.
Not content with short changing Victorians when it comes to infrastructure funding, the Turnbull Government today announced Rheinmetall as the preferred bidder for the LAND 400 contract to build Australia’s next-generation military vehicles.
Rheinmetall will manufacture its vehicles in Queensland – meaning Malcolm Turnbull has dudded Victorians again, denying our state close to $1 billion in economic activity and over 2,000 jobs.
If Dan Tehan and his Government had awarded the contract to Victoria, defence manufacturer AME Systems would have expanded its operations, creating as many as 25 new jobs in Ararat.
Instead, Ararat may now miss out on these jobs and the economic boost the contract would have brought, due to Malcolm Turnbull’s political decision to shore-up marginal seats in Queensland.
It’s yet another major defence contract the Turnbull Government has awarded interstate in what is becoming a pattern of behaviour from an increasingly anti-Victorian Government.
Victoria is Australia’s home of manufacturing, with a larger industry and workforce than any other state, but it’s ignored by Malcolm Turnbull, with submarines being sent to South Australia, ships to Western Australia and now vehicles to Queensland.
This is perhaps not surprising given there isn’t a single Victorian on the National Security Committee of Cabinet, who ultimately make the decisions about where defence contracts are awarded.
Given Victoria’s manufacturing capability and our proven track record delivering armoured vehicles like the Bushmaster and Hawkei, it makes no sense for this project to be based outside of Victoria.
Victoria’s defence sector is worth $8 billion to the local economy every year, and is made up of about 20,000 workers and more than 400 businesses.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll
“This is a disgraceful decision that is based on the political interests of Dan Tehan and Malcolm Turnbull, not the national security interests of our country.”
“Dan Tehan and the Turnbull Government just can’t help themselves – whenever they get the chance to dud Victorians, they dud Victorians.”
Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford
“Land 400 would have been wonderful for Ararat, but sadly the Turnbull Government has put Victorian interests last yet again.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020