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$2B worth of naval shipbuilding jobs being exported to Spain is a disgrace: adios SA jobs, hola jobs in Spain

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For more information contact Karina Natt on 0433 620 850 or Nick Xenophon on 0411 626 677

10 / 3 / 2016

$2B worth of naval shipbuilding jobs being exported to Spain is a disgrace

ADIOS SA JOBS, HOLA JOBS IN SPAIN Independent Senator for South Australia Nick Xenophon has described the contracting of the build of the Navy’s future supply ships - worth $2 billion to Navantia in Spain as a “disgrace”. “Whilst Spain is today celebrating the creation of 3000 jobs - building Australian naval ships - workers are being laid off in SA and around the country. It is a kick in the guts for Australian workers and was completely avoidable. The contract for the two naval supply ships is worth $2b and Australian industry will only get a measly 5 per cent or $100 million of that,” Nick said. In 2014 the Coalition Government excluded Australian industry from the tender process and instead limited it to South Korea or Spain. “The Government gifted jobs to foreign nations when it excluded Australia from the build and the Defence White Paper released last month failed to maximise local industry involvement for the supply ships,” Nick said. “Australian workers, particularly at ASC which last week announced 110 job losses as its shipbuilding workforce shrinks from 1400 to 100 by the end of 2018 with the wind-down of the Air Warfare Destroyer program - have every right to be angry about this news. While the PM was in SA hiding broken promises with the announcement of a Defence Hub that would create just dozens of jobs and not in manufacturing, the Government was apparently creating thousands of jobs for Spain.” Senator Xenophon said a Senate Estimates Hearing in February was told by ASC the supply ship work would have helped keep shipbuilders at Osborne and stemmed the flow of job losses. “ASC has no definitive work between completion of the AWD build and the Future Frigates because the Government has backed away from former PM Abbott’s promise to build the Offshore Patrol Vessels in SA and because it gave away the supply ships work. The naval supply ship decision is a further body-blow for SA shipbuilding after the 21 Pacific Patrol Boat program has excluded SA,” Nick said. “There were solutions and the Turnbull Government appears to have rejected them along with the recommendations by Defence and the Rand Corporation that a naval shipbuilding centre of excellence in Adelaide with sustainment and a continuous build approach would not only be the most cost-effective use of taxpayers money but would mean the valley of death was averted. “The Government must explain why it has gifted Spain thousands of jobs as the future of Australian shipbuilders drift further out to sea.”