Jobs Rally at 10:00am
Northern End Victoria Square
Speakers include Bill Shorten, Martin Hamilton-Smith, Penny Wong and Nick Xenophon.
Media Conference with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten at 11:20am
Shipbuilding workers will rally in Adelaide today to continue pressure on the Government to deliver critical submarine and shipbuilding contracts to the state.
The rally comes as ReachTel polling commissioned by the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) shows Liberal MPs facing increased pressure including in Christopher Pyne’s seat of Sturt.
The poll found 90 per cent of voters want our future submarines built in South Australia.
The results reveal shipbuilding has become a bellweather issue for voters in South Australia.
“Voters know that Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey lost the car industry and they are warning Malcolm Turnbull that they will turn on the Coalition if South Australian shipbuilding jobs are sent overseas,” said AMWU Assistant National Secretary Glenn Thompson.
The poll found that if an election was held this weekend the Coalition would be facing an electoral backlash over jobs and shipbuilding with Liberal held seats at risk.
Jobs and the future of the South Australian economy are key issues for voters. South Australia has an unacceptably high unemployment rate of 7.7 per cent.
“That’s why it’s madness for the Turnbull Government to even consider building 12 future submarines overseas,” Mr Thompson said.
“Christopher Pyne and the Liberal in SA should be doing everything they can to make sure their state gets to build the submarines.”
The polling numbers follow a series of public statements from Minister Pyne where he incorrectly claimed that the ASC Shipyard in Adelaide did not have the capacity to build Offshore Patrol Vessels at the dock. On Adelaide radio last month, Minister Pyne stated:
“…you can’t actually fit everything in there that some people are claiming… You have to look at the realities of the geography”
ASC Shipbuilding worker Glenn Dallimore disagrees with Mr Pyne.
“Unlike Mr Pyne, I work on the frontline of the shipbuilding industry. I know for a fact that we have the physical capacity to do the Frigates, Supply Ships, Submarines, and the Offshore Patrol Vessels. I don’t know where Mr Pyne is getting his information from, but I believe it is incorrect.”
Glenn Thompson has accused Minister Pyne of trying to mislead the people of Adelaide.
“Mr Pyne is out there talking down the capacity of our shipbuilding industry when he should be its’ greatest defender. It’s no wonder that voters in his own electorate are ready to put the boot in.
“Voters heard the Coalition promise to build 12 submarines at ASC in Adelaide before the last election but since then there has been a succession of policy backflips that have left the electorate deeply cynical about the Coalition’s policy on jobs,” he said.
“Workers and voters in South Australia want the Federal Government to build our future patrol vessels, future frigates and future submarines in South Australia because they know that will inject billions of dollars into the SA economy.”
“The AMWU is calling on Malcolm Turnbull to bite the bullet and back Australian jobs and Australian workers and build our naval ships here instead of exporting shipbuilding jobs to Japan, South Korea, Spain, Germany or France.”
“The future submarine program is worth $150 billion dollars and it’s time Malcolm Turnbull took foreign and hybrid builds off the table and announced all our subs will be built here.”
“ASC in Adelaide risks losing its last 1300 workers unless the Turnbull Government commits to local jobs,” Mr Thompson said. “The only way to make sure we maintain the skill base in Australian shipbuilding is to make sure those workers who are left in the industry are given new ships to build and that means bringing forward orders for patrol boats and frigates.”
Australia is also examining tenders for two naval supply ships but has barred Australian shipyards from the tender process in favour of shipyards in Spain and South Korea.
Mr Thompson said evidence to the Senate Shipbuilding Inquiry confirmed Australian shipbuilders had the capability to build the supply ships here and the AMWU was now calling on the Government to reopen the tender process and allow local shipyards to compete.
Copies of the polling results are available on request.
Media comment Glenn Thompson 0419689932
Media contact George Simon 0400055081