Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union


Shipbuilders demand meeting with Defence Minister

Press Conference


Front of Adelaide Convention Centre (North Terrace, Adelaide)

Shipbuilders from ASC will front Defence Minister Marise Payne in Adelaide today after she refused to meet with them on their visit to Canberra last week.

Shipbuilders are calling on the Government to deliver on the promise of 12 new submarines built in Adelaide as the Defence White Paper and Shipbuilding Plan is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2016. Last week, workers had taken their message directly to Parliament House in Canberra, meeting with several Government, Opposition, and cross-bench MPs. However, despite repeated requests, the Defence Minister had declined a meeting with workers.

Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) Assistant National Secretary, Glenn Thompson, called on the Minister to use her trip to Adelaide to commit to a full local build of 12 submarines.

“On the same day Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited Adelaide in October, ASC announced the loss of 45 permanent jobs. Let’s hope this senior Minister can bring some better news to shipbuilding workers,” said Mr Thompson.

“This visit is a good opportunity for the Minister to meet shipbuilding workers first-hand to see the human consequence of failing to deliver on local jobs,” he said.

Adelaide shipbuilders were shaken by recent comments from the Prime Minister on his last visit to Adelaide, where he described the Government’s pre-election promise on submarines as “archaeology”.

“There is nothing pre-historic about the Government’s pre-election promise. In 2013, the Coalition, of which the Prime Minister was a senior member, promised twelve submarines to be built in Adelaide. South Australians expect nothing less,” said Mr Thompson.

“Twelve submarines will ensure a continuous build and will take Australian shipbuilding out of the costly cycle brought about by the valley of death,” he said.

ASC shipbuilding workers will greet the Defence Minister as she enters a submarine conference to give an address on the future of the industry. 


Media Contact:                                    John Hill                0412197079

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