Thursday, 8 February 2018
The opposition will not be supporting this motion. Labor supports a strong Australian defence industry. This industry must be underpinned by a world-class export capability. Labor will examine the detail of the government's strategy, but the government needs to do much more to invest in skilling our defence workforce. This includes mandating skills transfer as part of any major defence projects led by foreign primes, ensuring Australian defence industry is best placed to compete for projects internationally.
Labor has been making the case for assisting small- and medium-sized enterprises, including those in defence industries, for a long time. This is why Labor announced the advanced manufacturing fund, a $1 billion loan program to help firms expand and enter new markets overseas. In addition, Labor has always made the case for designing, building and maintaining ships in Australia and for assisting our shipbuilders with becoming competitive in global markets.