House debates

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Statements by Members

Defence Procurement

1:39 pm

Photo of Tony ZappiaTony Zappia (Makin, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The uncertainty and confusion surrounding the future submarine build continues in South Australia. We still have no clarity about where the bulk of the work will be done, and now we find out not only that local content is diminishing with each government response but that there is no guaranteed minimum local content written into the contract. At $90 billion, the future submarine contract is one of the largest government outlays I am aware of. Yet, at a time that COVID-19 is wrecking the Australian economy, the Morrison government is sending Australian jobs to other countries, whilst, according to Roy Morgan research, around 3½ million Australians are unemployed or underemployed, and that includes hundreds of shipworkers who have the skills required for this.

In South Australia, the unemployment rate hovers around eight per cent and is much worse in Adelaide's northern suburbs. Unemployment is predicted to rise. We have skilled workers in South Australia in need of work, and skills are being lost because the work they could do is being sent overseas. The future submarine contract has been bungled by this government from the start. I call on the Morrison government to end the uncertainty, to back Australian workers, to maximise Australian content in the future submarines and to deliver on the 90 per cent local content promised by former minister Christopher Pyne. And it's time that South Australian Liberals, including those in this place and in the Senate— (Time expired)