Defence White Paper Must Put Australian Jobs First

The Andrews Labor Government calls on the Commonwealth to use the Defence White Paper to secure the future of Victoria’s Williamstown shipyards.

Hundreds of jobs have already been lost at the Williamstown shipyards as work on the Landing Helicopter Dock Ships has been completed, and block work on the Air Warfare Destroyer is nearing completion.

The Federal Government must support local jobs by fast tracking a selective tender to BAE Systems to build the Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessels at the Williamstown shipyards.

The Labor Government is also calling for major defence projects to be built in Australia with targets set for Australian content to help boost the economy and create jobs.

There should be a national approach to significant defence projects such as the navy submarines and frigates that draws on the collective shipbuilding expertise across the country.

Victoria’s defence sector has a world class innovative supply chain network and the capability to supply these major projects.

Victoria also has a proven track record of producing state of the art military vehicles like the Hawkei and Bushmaster, built in Bendigo.

Victoria has the capability to build the Army’s Land 400 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles and the Andrews Labor Government calls on the Commonwealth to ensure these vehicles are built in Victoria by Victorian workers.

The defence sector contributes up to $8 billion to Victoria’s economy each year. It is comprised of more than 300 innovative businesses and directly employs around 7,000 people who make equipment and provide services for defence activities.

The Turnbull Government must recognise that Victoria has the largest defence manufacturing industry in Australia and should be given a fair share of the work on national defence projects.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry Lily D’Ambrosio 

“The Turnbull Government must use its Defence White Paper to put Australian jobs first. Major defence projects must be built in Australia by Australian workers.” 

“Whether it’s building offshore patrol boats at Williamstown or military vehicles in Bendigo, Victoria has the expertise and capability to deliver national defence projects that will boost our economy and create jobs.”

“The Abbott Government sold out Victorian auto workers and shipbuilders at Williamstown – we call on the Turnbull Government to do the right thing with the Defence White Paper and ensure major defence projects are built in Victoria by highly skilled Victorian workers.”

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