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Tuesday, 11 August 2015
Page: 4964

Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Social Services) (16:07): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator FIFIELD: The Prime Minister announced on 4 August that the government would commit to an historic continuous build of surface naval vessels in Australia. As part of this, the future frigates and our new offshore patrol vessels will be built in Australia. Both these programs have been brought forward, which will preserve up to 1,000 jobs that would otherwise have been lost as a result of the former government's inaction on shipbuilding.

I would like to clarify to Senator Lazarus that the announcement last week stipulated that the future frigates would be built in South Australia. It also said that the offshore patrol vessels will be built in Australia with a specific location to be determined following a competitive evaluation process. The construction of the Pacific patrol boats is a separate program to both of these and was not part of the announcement made last week. The tender for the Pacific patrol boats has closed and the responses are currently being assessed by the Department of Defence, with a government decision due following the completion of that process.

Question agreed to.