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Wednesday, 30 May 2018
Page: 4949

Defence Industry


Mr HASTIE (Canning) (14:54): My question is to the Minister for Defence Industry. Will the minister update the House on the government's recent achievements in naval shipbuilding? How is the government investing to keep the Australian people safe? When was the last time a government invested in military capability at this scale?


Mr PYNE (SturtLeader of the House and Minister for Defence Industry) (14:55): Thank you to the member for Canning for the question. The last part of his question was: when was the last time a government invested in military capability build-up of this scale? The answer to that is: in the Second World War. World War II was the last time that a government invested on the scale that we are investing today. This is the biggest build-up of our military capability in 70 years: $200 billion over the next 10 years, giving the safety that we need as a nation, protecting our national interest, and using that enormous heft to drive small and medium enterprises, and large primes in defence industry, creating innovation, sophisticated jobs and advanced manufacturing. I am asked by the member for Canning to update the House on the naval shipbuilding plan. I wouldn't use a prop, but I might table a document later in answer to this question. Only last weekend at 3 am in the member for Canning's electorate, Austal launched the first of the Pacific patrol boats, the Guardian class—

Mr McCormack: What does it look like?

Mr PYNE: I will show you in a minute—a $335 million program driving jobs and growth, 21 of them to be provided to 12 different South Pacific nations, supporting our allies across the South Pacific as a country the size of Australia should, with 400 jobs in the Henderson Maritime Precinct. That is the beginning of a 54-vessel program across many decades, created by this government. The last ship that would ever have been built under the Labor Party, if Labor had been re-elected in 2013, was the one that we launched at Osborne two weeks ago, the last of the air warfare destroyers. The only ship they ever commissioned was the HMAS Choules, which they bought from Britain. They didn't invest one dollar in any vessel built in an Australian shipyard; we have 54. That Pacific patrol boat program, the Guardian class, isn't just creating jobs in Canning; it's also going to be creating jobs in the member for Leichhardt's electorate. That is where the deep maintenance will be done. That is worth $400 million over the life of the program, and $380 million of new infrastructure, in Cairns. We have a national project from Henderson to Cairns launched on Sunday at 3 am, driving jobs and growth. It would have only happened under this government. It is the beginning of a $90 billion naval shipbuilding program, and I table this very handsome photograph of the Pacific patrol boats. (Time expired)