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Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Page: 5968

Mr ZAPPIA (Makin) (17:05): Minister, last month when you came to South Australia as part of the community cabinet you heard from Chris Burns from the Defence Teaming Centre in South Australia. Chris represents, I believe, about 130 organisations that have a very keen interest in the defence sector in South Australia. In fact, in South Australia the defence sector is one of the key employer groups, as you would quite rightly understand. It is very significant to the northern region of Adelaide, part of which I represent. In conjunction with the Royal Australian Air Force base that is out there—and now the relocation of the 7RAA battalion to the defence base—and the DSTO, there are considerable employment opportunities in that sector broadly, and that is further enhanced by some of the organisations that are now based in Technology Park in Mawson Lakes. I am also aware that General Dynamics is located in the Mawson Lakes precinct and has also been a major contributor to the defence employment sector in South Australia.

I know that there had been some concerns expressed by some of the defence related industries in South Australia with respect to some of the ongoing work that has originated from the many contracts that South Australia has been able to secure. I know that, as part of your visit to South Australia, you had intended to speak with Chris Burns, to perhaps give him an update as to how some of those contracts were going and in particular to provide him with information, which I believe you did, about the security of some of those contracts and the ongoing employment that they provide for South Australians.

I was wondering if you would be able to update the House on your discussion with Chris Burns and in particular some of the important defence contracts that South Australia is currently engaged in. While you are at it perhaps you could also update the House with respect to the bid by General Dynamics to also win one of those contracts, which I know they have been seeking to do for some time and which I know was critical to their ongoing operations in the Mawson Lakes precinct. I have visited General Dynamics in the past. I know that they have been involved in providing defence equipment for the government for several years now, but I know that there was also a recent contract that would have been very crucial to their ongoing operations.