House debates

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Questions without Notice

Defence Industry

3:18 pm

Photo of Melissa PriceMelissa Price (Durack, Liberal Party, Minister for Defence Industry) Share this | Hansard source

It is always a pleasure to get a question from a fellow Western Australian, the member for Stirling. I want to acknowledge his many years of service in the ADF and thank him for his great interest and passion for Australia's defence industry.

The Morrison government's $270 billion in our defence capability is enabling us to create a world-class defence industry right here at home. Our investment is setting up business for export success, which is helping them to buy credibility abroad. Importantly, it is providing a pathway for high-tech, high-paid and incredibly advanced jobs for generations of Australians to come.

In my own state of Western Australia, we have a number of stand-out examples. They demonstrate the impact this government's investment is having on us creating a sovereign industrial capability. As we speak, we have hundreds of Australians who are helping us to bring Navy's next generation of the offshore patrol vessels to life with Luerssen at Civmec's big shed. It is interesting to note that Civmec have built the biggest shed in the southern hemisphere down in Henderson, and it is indeed something to behold. More than 300 Australian SMEs are benefiting from this program, with some building and enhancing their capabilities, which is truly exciting.

But this is about more than just building ships. The Morrison government's ambitious naval shipbuilding plan is about building a world-leading naval shipbuilding industry. At the same time, we're creating 15,000 Australian jobs. Perth-based Barrett Communications is yet another example of how the Morrison government's investment is supporting and driving Australian design and manufacturing. Barrett is a state-of-the-art communications equipment company with customers across the country and the globe. I had the pleasure of visiting Barrett last year, where I saw their world-class Aussie ingenuity firsthand. In Melbourne—and this is illustrative of the capability we've got right across the country—we are partnering with Boeing to design and build the Loyal Wingman, the first military aircraft to be designed and built in Australia in some 50 years. As the Prime Minister has said, our $40 million investment in this program is supporting 100 high-tech jobs and creating new capabilities in our industry.

Our record investment in defence is creating a world-class industry right here at home. We know that during COVID many industries have done it tough, but, let me tell you, the defence industry in Australia has stood up. Our support is creating more opportunities for Australian companies and thousands of jobs at home.


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