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August 10, 2021

The major overhaul of Australia’s naval shipbuilding program that is reportedly looming is an admission of the Morrison Government’s failure to protect and grow our defence industry.
With every major Australian shipbuilding project running late, the sudden departure of the Head of Australian Capability from the Department of Defence and a reported under-resourcing of the position, Australian businesses need to be supported to secure and maintain Defence contracts or they will continue to miss out.
The Morrison Government likes to talk tough on Defence, but their actions bely their words. 
After six Defence Ministers in eight years, they have consistently failed to deliver the assets we need to secure our nation.
The $3 million review that proposed this shipbuilding overhaul is one of several being undertaken by the Government to try to fix these botched projects.
There is already a Capability Enhancement Review being undertaken where the Morrison Government has not even requested their interim report, and a Naval Shipbuilding Expert Advisory Panel who are hidden from scrutiny behind cabinet secrecy.
The Morrison Government needs to listen to the experts, take action now and actually make the changes needed, not just sit on another report.
It is incumbent on the Morrison Government to get control of our critical Defence contracts and get them back on track. They must also ensure that Australian companies involved in these projects have the necessary support to carry out this vital work.
Under this Federal Liberal Government we’ve seen extreme cost blow outs, increasing delays and projects pushed offshore instead of building our local defence industry. 
We must ensure we have the sovereign capability we need in Defence, when we need it.
That means supporting Australian companies to secure and maintain Australian Defence contracts, while growing and fostering their further development. 
The Government’s failings in Defence procurement and management of projects are posing indisputable risks for our nation. 
Only Labor is committed to building and developing Australia’s sovereign capability, local manufacturing, and local jobs in the national interest.