Malcolm Turnbull Betrays Regional Victoria

13 March 2018

Malcolm Turnbull has betrayed workers and local companies across regional 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.

Numerous regional businesses stood to benefit from the contract, including Marand in Geelong, AME Systems in Ararat and Parker Hannifin in Wodonga.

These regional businesses and regional towns will miss out on the jobs and economic benefits of the Land 400 contract, thanks to Malcolm Turnbull’s 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’s based on the political interests of Malcolm Turnbull and his desperation to cling to marginal seats in Queensland, not the national security interest of our country.”

“Land 400 would have boosted jobs and economic activity right across regional Victoria – instead, the Turnbull Government has chosen to betray Victoria yet again.”

“Malcolm Turnbull just can’t help himself – whenever he gets the chance to dud Victorians, he duds Victorians.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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