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Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Page: 4201

Defence Procurement

Mr WILLIAMS (Hindmarsh) (14:15): My question is to the Minister for Foreign Affairs representing the Minister for Defence. Will the minister advise the House how the government's decision to construct the next generation of submarines locally has been received by Australian industry and other stakeholders?

Ms JULIE BISHOP (CurtinMinister for Foreign Affairs) (14:15): I thank the member for Hindmarsh for his question, and I acknowledge his tireless advocacy for a sustainable local shipbuilding industry in South Australia. The Turnbull government's decision to build and sustain 12 next generation submarines locally provides the certainty that Australia's defence industry requires so that it can invest in innovation and 21st century technology and grow its Australian workforce, and that means more Australian jobs. Our decision to build 12 submarines locally complements our recent surface shipbuilding announcements, which, combined, will create over 3,600 direct jobs and countless opportunities for small to medium local businesses across the national supply chain. Our shipbuilding programs will drive innovation, will drive competitiveness and will drive the creation of new Australian jobs.

Australian businesses recognise the massive economic boost our shipbuilding decisions will provide after the years of inaction by Labor. ASC chief, Stuart Whiley, called the Future Submarine program:

… a true national endeavour with thousands of suppliers across the country participating in the project, in addition to the creation of thousands of direct jobs.

The Australian Industry Group chief, Innes Willox, said it was:

… a true renaissance of the industry benefits which will flow to all Australians, including hundreds of companies and thousands of workers.

State Labor members are over the moon that they have in Canberra a coalition government making decisions after years of federal Labor incompetence, inaction and mismanagement. South Australian Labor Premier Jay Weatherill has called our decision:

… an amazing shot in the arm for confidence in South Australia.


… a massive step forward in the transformation of the SA economy, to meet our vision for an advanced manufacturing … hi-tech manufacturing economy.

The Western Australian Labor shadow minister for defence issues said:

For the first time, Australian naval shipbuilders are about to get a sustainable and reliable workload. It’s a pivotal moment for the nation’s manufacturing industry.

This is state Labor. They know that Labor federally cannot be trusted with creating new jobs in the shipbuilding industry. So, the coalition government is delivering what our defence industry so sorely lacked after years of Labor inaction, and that is certainty to plan, to invest and to create more jobs. Due to the decisions of the Turnbull government, Australia will have a defence industry with an advanced manufacturing capability that will provide thousands and thousands of jobs for the future of this country.

Mr Danby interjecting

Mr Hawke interjecting

The SPEAKER: Before I call the leader of the opposition, the member for Melbourne Ports and I think the member for Mitchell will not have a conversation across the chamber, otherwise I will facilitate one outside the chamber.