Former Defence Minister Kevin Andrews and the Turnbull Liberal Government have betrayed thousands of Victorian workers and hundreds of local companies 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.
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’s based on the political interests of Kevin Andrews, Malcolm Turnbull and their desperation to cling to marginal seats in Queensland – not the national security interest of our country.”
“Kevin Andrews and Malcolm Turnbull just can’t help themselves – whenever they get the chance to dud Victorians they dud Victorians.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region Shaun Leane
“We are the home of manufacturing in Australia and have the skills, knowledge and expertise to deliver the best military vehicles for our defence force – but Kevin Andrews and Malcolm Turnbull have betrayed us again.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020