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ASC FORCED TO SHED WORKERS UNDER DYSFUNCTIONAL GOVERNMENT

March 02, 2016

Today the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) was forced to announce another 110 job losses.             

Labor’s first thoughts are with the affected workers and their families.

Today’s announcement follows Malcolm Turnbull and Marise Payne’s decision to walk away from the Government’s promise to begin the build of Australia’s Offshore Patrol Vessels in Adelaide.

By doing this, they put 1300 jobs at ASC in jeopardy, and risk adding unnecessary delays to the Future Frigate build.

This broken promise to the people and workforce of South Australia comes after the Government failed to deliver on its promise to build 12 Future Submarines in South Australia in its 2016 Defence White Paper. 

Three Defence Ministers, three Assistant Defence Ministers, two Parliamentary Secretaries, and a Defence White Paper twelve months overdue have all failed to provide the certainty our shipbuilding industry needs for a viable future.

Shipyards around the nation have been forced to shed more than 1,600 skilled workers over the past two and a half years under this dysfunctional Government.  

Unfortunately for those in South Australia there is no light at the end of the tunnel as the Government refuses to confirm Australia’s Future Submarines will be built onshore.

Yesterday, in Senate Question Time, Marise Payne confirmed an offshore build was still on the table:

“As the Senator knows, Mr President, I said last week that there were three options contained in the CEP, which is a matter of public record: an overseas build, a hybrid build and a domestic build.”

Despite the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister spruiking their shipbuilding plan, we know the Turnbull Government likes to say one thing and do another.

Only Labor can be trusted to ensure Australia’s strategically vital shipbuilding capability has a viable, long-term future.

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