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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 288

Defence Procurement

Ms FLINT (Boothby) (14:41): My question is to the Minister for Defence Industry. Will the minister update the House on the rebuilding of infrastructure at the Osborne ship and submarine yards? How will the federal government ensure power supply is guaranteed to the Osborne facility?

Mr PYNE (SturtLeader of the House and Minister for Defence Industry) (14:42): I thank the member for Boothby for her question. I can report to the House that the infrastructure redevelopment at the Osborne ship and submarine yards is very much on schedule. The government appointed at the end of last year Odense Maritime Technology to do a plan for the shipyard which will be handed to us in draft form in March and in final form in June, and the infrastructure at the Osborne submarine and shipyards will begin in July, in the second half of this year. The government's policies in terms of the continuous naval ship build—the first continuous naval ship build since Federation—is very much on track for the 12 submarines, the nine Future Frigates and the 12 offshore patrol vessels. The 21 Pacific patrol vessels have already begun. It will be creating a busy shipyard in Henderson, one of the busiest and most modern shipyards in Osborne South and one of the busiest and most modern submarine yards in Osborne North, creating jobs, investment and growth in our economy.

Extraordinarily, because of the breathtaking failure of policy in South Australia over energy and electricity supply, the supply in South Australia of energy is so unreliable that the Department of Defence is having to advise me that we will need to build our own supplementary power generation at the Osborne ship and submarine yards, plus the fuel storage required to run those generators, because we cannot rely on the power supply in South Australia not to go out, putting at risk that major project that will eventually be employing 5,000 workers in South Australia alone, and there are the myriad businesses across Australia and in South Australia. So the massive obsession that the Labor Party has had with renewable energy rather than a common-sense, all-of-the-above approach to supplying energy in Australia has meant that Australian taxpayers are going to have to spend millions of dollars more on the infrastructure at Osborne South and North in order to guarantee the power supply so that, in the event that the power goes out again in South Australia, we will be able to continue working for five days in the hope that within those five days the South Australian Labor government might have got the power back on again in my state. Power in South Australia is more akin to what you would expect in a backpackers hostel in a Third World country than you would expect in a First World state like South Australia. This is only because ideology has trumped common sense, and we are seeing a real life example of the cost to consumers, the cost to businesses and, in this case, the cost to the Australian taxpayer.