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Sarah Henderson And Malcolm Turnbull Betray Geelong

14 March 2018

Sarah Henderson and the Turnbull Liberal Government have betrayed workers and local companies in Geelong 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 Sarah Henderson and her Government had awarded the contract to Victoria, defence manufacturer Marand would have expanded its operations, creating as many as 60 new jobs in Geelong.

These jobs would have been based at the former Ford factory and included roles suitable for former automotive workers. Instead, Geelong may now miss out so Malcolm Turnbull can 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 than any other state, but it’s ignored by Malcolm Turnbull, with submarines 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.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll

“This is a disgraceful decision that betrays Geelong, and has been made just to help Malcolm Turnbull shore-up marginal seats in Queensland.”

“Sarah Henderson talked a big game on Land 400 but she has delivered nothing for Geelong yet again.”

Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens

“Sarah Henderson did nothing when the Liberals ran the car industry out of Geelong, and has failed yet again to bring more jobs to our city.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville

“Sarah Henderson and Malcolm Turnbull have abandoned workers and businesses in Geelong and the Bellarine.”

Quote attributable to Member for Lara John Eren

“This was a landmark opportunity to create jobs and a future for Geelong’s vehicle building industry – an opportunity Sarah Henderson and her Liberal mates chose not to give local workers and families.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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