Thursday, 25 March 2021
Questions without Notice
I thank the member for Mallee for her question and acknowledge her passion for regional Australia—in particular, of course, for her own electorate of Mallee.
Our government is investing a record $270 billion in our defence capability and we are creating thousands of jobs and providing opportunities for Australia's defence industry. Last Friday I had the great pleasure of visiting the Shoalhaven region with my dear friend from the other side, Senator Jim Molan. In that region, we met a number of people, in particular, the Shoalhaven Defence Industry Group—Saab, Lockheed Martin—and we also met Australian SME Global Defence Solutions.
At Global Defence Solutions we had the great pleasure of meeting some of their young Australian workers. We met three young people—Brendan, Madison and Laura—who are working hard on behalf of the Australian people and the ADF. They're producing a cutting-edge camouflage material. What a great joy it was to meet Laura, because she had only just started her apprenticeship. It was a great opportunity to learn from her. Effectively, these young people are industrial seamstresses. What they're doing is hard work—it's heavy work—but they need great attention to detail. I have to say that I was incredibly proud to meet those three young people.
Global Defence Solutions has secured multiple contracts with the ADF and they're creating many, many opportunities in the Shoalhaven region. One of the opportunities we learned of is that, together with other businesses in the region, they have stepped up to support our COVID response to Papua New Guinea. This joint effort is providing locally made deployable medical shelters for Papua New Guinea, and can I say that they were very proud to be involved in that project. Thanks to the Morrison government, the Shoalhaven area is going from strength to strength.
During my visit to the Shoalhaven I also visited the incredible personnel at HMAS Albatross. I'd like to extend my deep thanks to and my admiration for the men and women of HMAS Albatross, who serve the nation all the time but who did so particularly during the bushfires in the region during Black Summer. These same people are stepping up again, in particular 808 Squadron, who are conducting search-and-rescue operations with respect to the New South Wales floods: well done to them. This was a great opportunity to meet those people.
Finally, I will just say a big happy birthday to the Australian Air Force, which turns 100 next week. That's 100 years of protecting our nation and 100 years of reaching for the skies. Well done! This Morrison government is getting on with the job of defending our nation. (Time expired)