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Senate calls on Abbott Government to keep its promises on ship building



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SENATOR STEPHEN CONROY DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE

DAVID FEENEY MP

SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR DEFENCE SHADOW MINISTER FOR JUSTICE MEMBER FOR BATMAN

MEDIA RELEASE

Senate calls on Abbott Government to keep its promises on ship building

The Senate has today passed a motion calling on the Government to urgently take action to avoid sending thousands of Australian ship building jobs overseas and putting Australia’s ship building industry at risk.

The urgency motion notes that the Abbott Government has failed to honour its election commitments to support Australia’s Defence manufacturing industry by excluding Australian ship building companies from tendering for two new Naval supply ships and refusing to commit to building 12 Future Submarines in Australia.

“What we see when it comes to ship building in Australia is yet more Liberal Party lies and yet more broken promises,” Shadow Minister for Defence Senator Conroy said.

“By excluding Australian companies from building these new Royal Australian Navy supply ships, the Abbott Government is sending Australian jobs overseas and putting our strategically vital ship building industry at risk.

“The Coalition has also walked away from its pre-election promise to build 12 new Future Submarines in Adelaide, with the Defence Minister refusing to repeat this commitment on the floor of the Senate.”

“Labor had a $1.5bn plan to bridge the Valley of Death by bringing forward the purchase of new supply ships and patrol boats to be built here in Australia.

“But rather than acting quickly after coming to government, the Coalition have sat on their hands for nine months.”

Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence David Feeney said: “Successive Governments have invested heavily to sustain and cultivate a world-class shipbuilding industry in Australia. But the Abbott Government is prepared to let the industry wither away and die.

“Devastating Australia’s manufacturing industry has become a trademark for the Abbott Government.

“Outsourcing Australia’s vital shipbuilding capability will mean that we are no longer able to build, maintain, repair or support the complex ships that our Navy needs now and into the future.

“Labor is calling on the Abbott Government to have the foresight to take steps now to secure the future of our ship yards and invest in this vital industry.”

TUESDAY, 17 JUNE 2014