Shipbuilders will be joined by MPs and Senators
Shipbuilders up the pressure as Spain celebrates taking Australian jobs
Shipbuilding workers will again converge on Canberra today in the week after Australian shipbuilders were forced to look on while 3000 shipbuilding jobs were exported to Spain.
Last week, it was announced that the Turnbull Government announced it would build two supply ships valued at $2 billion overseas rather than in Australia.
“There’s never been a more exciting time to be a Spanish shipbuilding worker. Clearly Prime Minister Turnbull thinks the Spanish are more agile, innovative, and flexible,” said Mr Thompson.
“This just shows the Prime Minister for the hollow man that he is. They got rid of the bloke with three word slogans and replaced him with the guy full of buzzwords,” he said.
In the shipbuilding Senate inquiry, the Head of the Defence Material Organisation stated that there would be a substantial Australian Industry Participation plan when it came to these supply ships.. The inquiry also found that the supply ship contracts are a critical part of avoiding the valley of death and creating a continuous build.
“The Government has ignored all of the expert advice on this and risks throwing thousands of Australian shipbuilding jobs on the scrap heap,” said Mr Thompson.
As well as the supply ship contracts, shipbuilders remain concerned about the possibility of an overseas submarine build. The Competitive Evaluation Process started by the Government continues to contemplate a hybrid or overseas build of the twelve submarines announced in the Defence White Paper.
“The shipbuilding industry needs the Government to stand by their promise to build the submarines in Australia. The Government should take the hybrid and overseas build off the table,” said Mr Thompson.
Shipbuilders from Western Australia, Adelaide, Victoria, and New South Wales will spend the next two days talking to MPs and Senators in Canberra to ask them to back Australian shipbuilding jobs.
“We going to keep on knocking on the doors of every MP to remind them what is at stake as we get closer to an election. MPs can either back our campaign or pay the price at the ballot box,” said Mr Thompson.
Media contact: Julieanne Strachan 0450929660