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Wednesday, 27 November 1985
Page: 2388


Senator BUTTON (Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce)(5.50) —In respect of the two major tenderers, it is common knowledge that they have selected teams, in each case, involving Australian industry and the prime contractors. The fact of the matter is, however, as Senator MacGibbon well knows, that the sophistication and the technology of a submarine are such that the benefits of building these vessels in Australia will be very widespread throughout industry. The sub-contract work will be enormous. There have been very widespread discussions with Australian industry throughout the Commonwealth. I do not think that Senator MacGibbon would find any dissatisfaction in Australian industry about the consultation that there has been at all levels about this process. Of course, there will be dissatisfaction when the submarine tender is finally selected, because there will be winners and losers in that process, as there are in any tender. Again, I think that Senator MacGibbon's comment has an implicit premature quality about it which is fairly characteristic of the Opposition.