23 April 2014
Sharon Claydon has welcomed today’s announcement to purchase an additional 58 F-35 Join Strike Fighters, injecting much needed investment into the electorate of Newcastle.
RAAF Williamtown base will be home to a number of the new aircraft and will benefit from investment in new facilities, infrastructure and jobs. The local aerospace sector is also likely to benefit from the purchase decision.
“It is a relief to finally see some investment coming to our region in light of the ongoing cuts to so many local jobs and services we've endured,” Ms Claydon said.
“The RAAF base is one of the largest employers in the electorate and these new aircraft and the squadrons that will be based at Williamtown are very much welcomed.”
“Playing home to the aircraft will require significant investment in our local infrastructure so we are sure to see a jobs boost during the construction phase as well.”
In Government, Labor ensured that Australia continued to be part of the Joint Strike Fighter program with the purchase of Australia’s first two Joint Strike Fighters. Labor supports the acquisition of the Joint Strike Fighters, as the purchase was set out in the 2013 Defence White Paper and 2011 Defence Capability Plan.
Ms Claydon also iterated her calls for the Abbott Liberal government to support Newcastle’s shipbuilding industry.
“I look forward to the government also committing to the early roll out of its naval shipbuilding contract so we can retain our skilled workforce and our all important defence shipbuilding capability in the region.”