20 March 2015
The Abbott Liberal Government’s lack of leadership in the defence industry has led to the loss of another 130 Newcastle shipbuilding jobs at Forgacs.
The Abbott Government has done nothing to support our strategically vital shipbuilding industry since being elected 18 months ago.
This is a Government that excluded Australian shipbuilding companies from bidding for two new Navy supply ships, sending work and jobs overseas
This disgraceful inaction has led to another 130 Newcastle workers at Forgacs losing their jobs, with hundreds more in danger.
This comes at a time when the Newcastle unemployment rate sits well above the national average at nearly 9 per cent, more than double the rate when Tony Abbott was elected.
It’s time for the excuses and chaos to end.
Labor had a long-term shipbuilding plan, which would have secured these jobs, and ensured this industry didn’t wither and die.
Labor would have ensured that the new supply ships and patrol boats were built in Australia, as well as bringing forward the Future Frigates to help bridge the “valley of death”.
As an island nation, it’s vital that we maintain a sovereign shipbuilding capacity.
In the last 18 months, we’ve seen chaos surrounding our future submarines and no action to secure shipbuilding jobs.