House debates

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Questions without Notice


3:02 pm

Photo of Andrew HastieAndrew Hastie (Canning, 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 budget management is building resilience in our defence industry, including by creating jobs and opportunities for Australian businesses in global markets?

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

I'd like to thank the member for Canning for his question. I'd also like to thank him for his service to our nation in our defence forces and also acknowledge his passion for defence industry. Because of our government's stable and certain approach to economic management, we were able to invest a record $200 billion in our defence capability, and this $200 billion investment is delivering world-class capability for our men and women in uniform. What that includes is 57 Australian-built vessels for our Navy, 211 Boxer CRVs for our Army and 72 Joint Strike Fighter jets for our Air Force. We are building a resilient Defence Force, and at the same time we're building a resilient defence industry.

Along with our world-class capability, our investment is also delivering Australian jobs and new opportunities for small businesses on the global stage. Last night at the Australian Export Awards, Victorian business Marand Precision Engineering took out the Manufacturing and Advanced Materials Award. This is a very, very well-deserved recognition for an Australian business that is a real shining star in our defence industry. I did have the pleasure of visiting Marand's facility in Moorabbin not so long ago, and at this facility Marand manufacture the vertical tails for every F-35 Joint Strike Fighter globally, something that we should be immensely proud of. The Morrison government is well on track to deliver the 5,000 jobs and the $2 billion worth of work for Australian businesses in the F-35 program by 2023. It's an enormous achievement. Recently I also travelled to the US to make the case for greater Australian involvement in the F-35 program for businesses just like Marand.

Our record investment in defence industry, including our Defence Export Strategy, is opening doors for Australian businesses in global markets. We know that trade creates one in five Australian jobs at home, so the more we can help those Australian defence industries open up those opportunities with respect to defence industries overseas, the more jobs we can create. It is a very, very positive story for our defence industry. In the last financial year our government invested some $8.1 billion in our small to medium-sized defence industries, and there was a 30 per cent increase across the board for small and medium-sized businesses in Australia with respect to government departments. That's what our certain and stable budget management allows you to do.