12 February 2015
Federal Member for Newcastle, Sharon Claydon, has welcomed the confirmation that Newcastle-based BAE Systems and TAE have been awarded major maintenance contracts for the F-35 A Joint Strike Fighter.
The award of the southern Pacific regional maintenance contracts will provide ongoing employment opportunities in the region following the major infrastructure upgrade at RAAF Williamtown that is due to commence this year.
“The ongoing benefit to the region that these maintenance contracts will bring is a most welcome announcement for Newcastle,” Ms Claydon said.
“While the large-scale infrastructure work will have immediate benefits for local construction workers, the long-term support for the manufacturing sector with the maintenance work of the F-35 aircraft will benefit the community for many years to come.”
Ms Claydon who is a member of the Parliamentary Public Works Committee that approved the infrastructure works, was particularly pleased that the investment was being made into the electorate of Newcastle.
“I’m delighted that major investment in manufacturing is being made at a time when local unemployment continues to rise and the Abbott Liberal Government puts thousands more jobs at risk while they send naval shipbuilding work offshore.”
“The Abbott Liberal Government must now commit to working cooperatively with unions and Australian shipbuilders, like Forgacs, to develop a long-term rolling build for the industry. That’s how you keep the industry alive and save thousands of Australian jobs.”