Time Running Out to Support Our Naval Shipyard Industry

09 February 2015

Minister for Industry, Lily D’Ambrosio, today visited BAE Systems in Williamstown to receive an update on the future of naval shipbuilding in the state.

According to media reports, Mr Abbott agreed last night to allow South Australian companies to compete for the Future Submarines project, as part of a desperate bid to save his own job.

Mr Abbott is understood to have previously backed an exclusive deal with Japan for the submarines at the expense of Australian businesses and jobs.

It’s time the Abbott Government gave the workers in Victoria's defence industries the certainty they deserve.

If Tony Abbott doesn’t place an order immediately from the Williamstown shipyard, up to 500 shipyard jobs at BAE are at immediate risk, with a further 900 supply chain jobs in jeopardy.

The Andrews Labor Government is calling on the Abbott Government to avert this disaster by urgently moving to:

  • allocate more of the Air Warfare Destroyer blocks to Williamstown
  • reverse its decision to exclude Australian businesses from tendering for work on the replacement of two ageing supply ships
  • fast track orders for patrol boats
  • ensure Australian industry content is specified in all defence contracts.

Only by putting Australian defence manufacturing first can the Abbott Government ensure our defence personnel have the equipment they need to safely secure our national interests.

The Labor Government also calls on the Federal Senate Standing Committee on Economics to hold public hearings in Melbourne into the future sustainability of Australia's strategically vital naval shipbuilding industry.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry, Lily D’Ambrosio

“While Tony Abbott frets about his own job, the jobs of 500 Victorians are hanging in the balance.”

“Tony Abbott needs to place an order and give local businesses and local workers the certainty they deserve.”

“Victoria’s naval shipbuilding industry is vital to Australia’s national interests.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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