Tony Abbott continues to refuse to guarantee Australian jobs will not be lost as part of his Government’s plan for Australia’s Future Submarine Project.
Before the election, the former Liberal Defence Minister David Johnston stood outside ASC in Adelaide and said:
"We will deliver those submarines from right here at ASC in South Australia. The Coalition today is committed to building 12 new submarines here in Adelaide."
David Johnston Press Conference – 8 May 2013
Tony Abbott indicated in an interview with Adelaide radio station 5AA on Thursday that a decision regarding the project could be months away, and tried to hide his broken promise behind the potential for some Australian work, including sustainment, to be carried out in South Australia.
“Whichever way it ends up, this is good for jobs in South Australia.”
Tony Abbott – 08 January 2015
5AA Radio Adelaide- Interview
The Abbott Government is yet to provide a viable solution to sustain Australia’s shipbuilding industry, or to save jobs in South Australia instead of destroying them.
Reports this week of a hybrid plan for Australia’s Future Submarines with Japan will point to a further loss of Australian jobs, and will not offer sufficient work to sustain a viable naval shipbuilding industry.
It is time for Mr Abbott to come clean about how many jobs will go as a result of his broken promise.
The Abbott Government’s lack of progress is hurting Australian jobs and industry, with up to 1400 shipbuilding jobs to be lost in Victoria and New South Wales over the next 12 months.
The new Defence Minister, Kevin Andrews, needs to take back control of Defence, stand up to the Prime Minister and ensure that there is a real tender for our submarines - not one designed to deliver a pre-ordained outcome.
The Abbott Government needs to stop sitting on its hands, and call for a competitive tender.
Expert after expert has confirmed that Australia has the capability to build Australia’s Future Submarines, in a timeframe that ensures no capability gap.
Kevin Andrews needs to take immediate steps to secure the future of Australia's strategically vital shipbuilding industry and the jobs of thousands of workers.