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Government sinking Collins and Australian Submarine Corp.

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Government Sinking Collins And Australian Submarine Corp Stephen Martin - Shadow Minister for Defence

Media Statement - 10 May 2000

Shadow Minister for Defence, Stephen Martin, said today that the inaction and incompetence displayed by Defence Minister, John Moore, and Industry, Science and Resources Minister, Nick Minchin, is threatening the future of the Collins Class submarines and the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC).

"Last night's budget only committed to bringing two submarines up to operational capability, which places a cloud over the remainder of the fleets," Mr Martin said.

"Not only does this undermine and threaten Australian submarine capabilities, but also sounds the death knell for the ASC.

"There has already been an announcement this week of 110 job losses from the ASC as a result of Mr Moore's vacillation and lack of leadership on this issue.

"Mr Moore has not done the hard work in finding a future partner to deliver work to the ASC, and the longer he delays this process the more difficult it will become. More than 800 jobs and the future of the ASC in South Australia are at stake.

"The mysterious departure of the man charged with the responsibility for securing potential partners for the ASC, John Prescott, will delay negotiations even further.

"What is required is a government committed to the future of the ASC in South Australia and to Australia's submarine capability - and a Minister prepared to demonstrate that commitment by being proactive on this issue," Mr Martin said.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.