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Monday, 2 May 2016
Page: 3988

Defence Procurement

Mr SIMPKINS (Cowan) (14:48): My question is to the Minister for Defence Materiel. Minister, will you tell the House what the government is doing to create a sustainable shipbuilding industry in Australia?

Mr TEHAN (WannonMinister for Veterans' Affairs, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC and Minister for Defence Materiel) (14:49): I thank the member for Cowan for his question. I know he is a passionate advocate for jobs in his electorate and, in particular, defence industry jobs in his electorate.

The Turnbull government is securing Australian jobs and ensuring Australia's economic future by investing in defence. For the first time in our history, Australia will have a continuous shipbuilding plan, delivered by the Turnbull government. The Turnbull government has announced $90 billion of investment for Australia's Navy and our shipbuilding industry. This will result in more than 5,300 direct jobs, and there will be many more indirect jobs around the country when you remember the $1.6 billion investment in the defence white paper, which is all about encouraging the Australian defence industry to take advantage of this investment.

The Turnbull government has announced that Australia will build 21 new Pacific patrol boats, to be built in Western Australia; 12 new offshore patrol vessels, to be built in South Australia and Western Australia; nine new future frigates, to be built in Adelaide; and 12 new submarines, to be built in Adelaide. This takes the number of vessels this government has commissioned to be built in Australia to 54. As the foreign minister so beautifully articulated, compared to Labor's six years in office, this brings the shipbuilding scorecard to 54-0. That scoreline reminds me of the 1980 grand final! The Leader of the Opposition might not remember it—I know he now barracks for Collingwood, and he was probably barracking for Sydney then—but it was an absolute shellacking. As a matter of fact, if this was a footy match, those opposite would be filing out of the grounds. As the member for Sturt said last week, we have made more decisions in the last six weeks than Labor made in six years in office—six weeks compared to six years, and it is 54-0.

Mr Mitchell interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for McEwen is warned!

Mr TEHAN: For the first time in this country, we have a continuous shipbuilding plan. This will deliver security for Australian jobs and it will mean a more secure Australia.