Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union



17 April 2024

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) welcomes today’s announcement by the Federal Government relating to the National Defence Strategy including reprioritisation of the Integrated Investment Program.

National Secretary Steve Murphy said this is a positive announcement as the Federal Government seeks to prioritise its sovereign capability but he stressed there could be better outcomes for communities if there was an emphasis on local job creation.

“It’s important the government ensures a dedicated manufacturing workforce to meet Australia’s future defence capability needs.”

“We welcome the announcement to establish a high-tech manufacturing facility and the production of Australian-built AUKUS submarines in South Australia’s Osborne Naval Shipyard in the coming decades as well as the Federal Government’s commitment to continual naval shipbuilding” Mr Murphy said.

But Mr Murphy urged policymakers to invest in workforce development skills and training as part of its defence infrastructure spending, particularly around naval shipbuilding.

“There is yet to be an announcement around skill development programs to build the skilled labour required, especially given the initial builds will be supporting both the UK and US industrial bases.”

“What we want is to ensure we have the skills ahead of work that’s coming,” Mr Murphy said.

On the announcement of the $16 to $21 billion investment over the next decade in domestic missile production including the establishment of a domestic guided weapons and ordnance manufacturing capability, the AMWU said large government procurement should require local build.

“Aussie workers have the capacity and the skills to design, build and maintain our defence infrastructure,” Mr Murphy said.

Media contact: Sonia Feng 0478 599 580

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