Mr SOMYUREK (South Eastern Metropolitan) — I rise to urge the federal government to keep its pre-election commitment and build Australia’s next fleet of submarines in Australia.
The federal government claims that it has made no decision yet as to where the submarines will be built, but strategic leaks and off-the-record briefings to journalists make it clear that the Abbott government intends to renege on its pre-election commitment and purchase these submarines from Japan.
Australia’s ship and submarine-building industry is now at a crossroads. Unless the 48 vessels Australia needs over the next 20 years are built in Australia, this valuable, high-end industry is at risk of collapsing, forcing thousands of valuable manufacturing jobs offshore. It seems the Abbott government is determined to wipe another important and strategic industry from Australia.