House debates

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Questions without Notice

Defence Projects, Small Business

2:54 pm

Photo of Melissa McIntoshMelissa McIntosh (Lindsay, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Defence Industry. Will the Minister outline to the House how the Morrison government's stable and certain economy ensures essential defence projects and enables us to open new opportunities for Australian small businesses?

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

I'd like to thank the member for Lindsay for her question. Like her, we are just as proud of the Australian government's investment in Australian small businesses in defence industry. It's because of the Morrison government's stable and certain approach to the economy that we have got a record investment of $200 billion in our defence capability. This enables us to create Australian jobs and new opportunities for small business. This record investment is not just about equipping our defence forces, as important as that is; it is creating opportunities for small and medium-sized Australian businesses and creating jobs at the same time.

Just last week the member for Lindsay and I had the pleasure of announcing our government's investment of $95 million into a new naval guided weapons maintenance facility in Orchard Hills in Western Sydney. The good news is that 95 per cent of this contract will be sourced from Australian businesses. The $95 million investment in Western Sydney will create local jobs, and I'm sure local opportunities, for people in the member for Lindsay's electorate. I'd like to take the opportunity to commend the member for Lindsay for establishing the Lindsay jobs of the future program. This forum is encouraging kids to be educated and trained in the jobs that are coming to Western Sydney. Well done, the member for Lindsay.

I've also had the great pleasure recently of announcing the Morrison government's $15.7 million investment in a new health centre to be built at the Simpson Barracks in Watsonia in Victoria. The good news there is 90 per cent of the work of that contract will go to Australian contractors. At the same time, I also announced a $16.7 million investment in a new health centre at Puckapunyal, which is in the member for Nicholls' electorate. I'm sure there will be local contractors who are very interested in that project as well. Again, 93 per cent of this work will go to local Australian companies.

The really good news is that in the last financial year, as reported recently by the Department of Finance, $8.1 billion of defence contracts were awarded to Australia's small and medium-sized businesses—great news indeed. In the last financial year alone there was a 30 per cent increase in contracts to small and medium-sized Australian businesses across the board.

That's what a stable and certain approach to an economy allows you to do and that's why the Morrison government is funding our essential defence projects. We're backing small and medium-sized businesses and at the same time creating Australian jobs.