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Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Page: 9679

Senator RYAN (VictoriaAssistant Cabinet Secretary) (15:57): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator RYAN: The government does not support this motion, and, despite what Senator Conroy just stated to the chamber, the fact that the opposition is doing so is embarrassing. Successive Australian governments have been committed to the JSF program, including in Labor's 2009 and 2013 white papers.

Senator Conroy: We continue to be.

The PRESIDENT: Order on my left!

Senator RYAN: Both the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow minister, Senator Conroy, have made strong statements supporting the JSF. To date, Australian industry has secured contracts valued at US$448 million. We estimate that Australian industry will win at least US$1.5 billion in JSF related orders. This creates jobs. Last week the UK confirmed their program of 138 jets and will procure JSF earlier than planned. The government is committed to acquiring a fifth-generation JSF aircraft and the significant opportunities it provides for Australian industry and suspects that this is another deal whereby a vote in the Senate is being used for other purposes.