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MORRISON: 700 WORKERS’ UNCERTAIN FUTURE “NOT ONE THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED AT THIS POINT”

April 01, 2021

The Morrison Government promised 700 South Australian workers that a decision on Collins Class submarines upgrades would be made in December 2019.
 
Those workers have waited two Christmases for certainty about where ’Full Cycle Docking’ upgrades would be undertaken.
 
Yesterday, the Prime Minister told those workers that a decision on their future “is not one that needs to be addressed at this point".
 
The Prime Minister made this extraordinarily dismissive statement as he announced a new missiles project in an attempt to reset his flailing Defence procurement agenda under six Defence Ministers in eight years.
 
One has to ask what the PM was referring to when he said “there are a series of other issues we’re dealing with across the procurements where I am focusing my attention right now"?
 
Is it the Attack Class submarines project that is a decade late, $40 billion over budget, a 15 year wait to see if local content promises will be delivered, and is now subject to a potential Auditor-General investigation?
 
Is it the Hunter Class frigates, where costs have blown out from $30 billion to $45 billion as well as facing delays and capability problems?
 
Could it be:

  • A failure to secure local content, denying Australian workers and businesses opportunities  
  • $7.06 billion less invested in Defence capital projects than promised
  • The top 25 major Defence projects running cumulative 42 years late
  • A blow-out in Defence sustainment spending of $5.1 billion over seven years.
  • Joint Strike Fighters currently flying 36 fewer hours than planned
  • MRH-90 helicopters that can’t fire weapons when ADF personnel roping in and out seven and a half years late in achieving final operational capability
  • Battlefield Airlifter that can’t fly into battlefields
  • Cape Class patrol boats using sub-standard Chinese aluminium

Labor is committed to working with the Government to ensure these major projects are delivered on time, on budget and with appropriate Australian industry content.
 
We need a Government that doesn’t just make announcements, it actually delivers, including for 700 workers with an uncertain future.

WE'LL PUT PEOPLE FIRST