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Government to axe 34 Defence jobs in South Australia.

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Senator Chris Evans Labor Senator for Western Australia Shadow Minister for Defence

18 October 2002


The Government’s announcement yesterday of another politically driven, mismanaged Defence privatisation leaves up to 34 South Australians out of a job.

The decision to outsource Defence stores and maintenance services, known as the Defence Integrated Distribution System (DIDS) project, will have a significant impact on workers, their families and the communities in which they live.

It is another costly example of the Government’s program of outsourcing Defence functions and selling assets with no regard for existing workers or the impact on Defence capability.

The Government has also failed to adequately demonstrate the financial benefits of the sale because it has not released a proper cost-benefit analysis.

The two facilities in South Australia facing closure are located at:

• RAAF Edinburgh - 20 jobs

• Warradale - 14 jobs

In July last year, just months before the election, the Government intervened to protect 355 of the 1400 jobs affected by the DIDS project. Coincidentally, all of the protected jobs are in Coalition-held marginal seats in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Former Defence Minister Peter Reith also made the decision to waste $6 million of taxpayer’s money to buy the Government time until the election was over and the inevitable decision, which will cost Australians in jobs, could be ushered in quietly.

There are no guarantees that any of the existing jobs in South Australia will remain after privatisation.

Of the nineteen existing DIDS sites, the only one guaranteed to stay open happens to be in the seat held by the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, Danna Vale. All of the remaining sites face possible closure.

For comment: Chris Evans 0419 983 593 Mary Wood 0408 577 617