Media Release - Shipbuilders suffer from canberra inaction

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4 September 2015

Tony Abbott’s failure to act on shipbuilding has resulted in more Novocastrians losing their jobs.

The Newcastle Herald reports today that another 70 to 90 highly skilled shipbuilders from the Forgacs Tomago yard will be laid off this month.

This is on top of the 610 jobs that have already been lost at Forgacs on Tony Abbott’s watch.

Forgacs General Manager Greg Hodge has said Forgacs was doing everything it could to hold on to its workforce for as long as possible but the entire shipbuilding industry is ‘waiting to see what Canberra is doing with ordering new ships.’

Since coming to power two years ago the Abbott Government has done nothing but create dysfunction and chaos within the shipbuilding industry.

The decision to send the construction of Australia’s Navy supply ships offshore in June 2014 sent shock waves through the shipbuilding industry.

Just weeks later the industry learnt about the Prime Minister’s secret deal to send the construction of Australia’s Future Submarines to Japan.

The Abbott Government has failed to lay out a clear plan for our shipbuilding industry and is more interested in securing Liberal Party seats in South Australia than Australian shipbuilding jobs.

In addition to the shipbuilders who are losing their jobs this month, many more are at risk of losing their jobs before Christmas. 

This uncertainty, created by the Abbott Government, is cruel and leaves many families understandably anxious, as they wait to hear if they will have a job at the end of the year.

I call on the Abbott Liberal Government to fast track contracts for the build of new offshore patrol boats and maintenance work required on 13 Armidale-class patrol boats to help save local jobs.

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Authorised by Sharon Claydon MP, 427 Hunter Street Newcastle