House debates

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Questions without Notice

Defence Industry

3:00 pm

Photo of Gavin PearceGavin Pearce (Braddon, 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 is creating jobs in the defence industry to support our economic recovery as we come out the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic?

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

I thank the member for Braddon for his question, acknowledge his 20 years of service in the Australian Army and also acknowledge what a fabulous regional member he is, who understands the needs of those people in Tassie. Thank you for your contribution.

As we fight to get our economy back on track, our government is very focused on securing new jobs in defence industry and defence manufacturing to ensure that we keep the wheels of defence industry moving whilst we focus on economic recovery. We're very proud of our $200 billion investment in defence capability and we have created thousands of jobs already, but we will create thousands more. Already there are 70,000 Australians working in defence industry right across our country. So far we have identified with our $90 billion ambitious shipbuilding program that we will create some 15,000 jobs. With our next-generation army vehicle project we will also create some 1,400 jobs, and many more have been identified. With our joint strike fighter program we've already created some 2,400 jobs and we know there are many more to come.

This morning I had the great pleasure of travelling to Queanbeyan in Eden-Monaro to visit Lintek. Lintek currently has a number of defence manufacturing projects which are protecting our men and women in uniform. Lintek is a fabulous example of manufacturing here in Australia—and I remind everyone that manufacturing is alive and well in Australia and Lintek is a fabulous example of that. Lintek is the only onshore manufacturer of circuit boards for our defence capability. Not only that; they were also involved in manufacturing parts for ventilators when the COVID-19 health crisis was at its worse, and they are incredibly proud of themselves. We also are very proud of Lintek's contribution to that.

Lintek currently has 50 employees. We want them to have more employees, and that's why earlier this year we gave them a grant of $1 million from the Morrison government to help them double their production of their circuit boards. Doubling the production of their circuit boards means more jobs for Queanbeyan and more jobs for Eden-Monaro. We're very proud of Lintek and we're going to back them all the way.

The Morrison government are very focused on supporting Defence jobs and ensuring that we keep the Defence jobs that we've got. That's what we're focused on: jobs. We know what the other mob are focused on: themselves.