Thursday, 3 September 2020
Defence Equipment: Collins Class Submarines
We've just gone through a pandemic, and the government has spent—and this is not a criticism—over $200 billion. Yet the government is considering shifting something that works in Adelaide—that is, full-cycle dockings for submarines—over to Western Australia at the cost of $1 billion or more. We know that the South Australian workers there will not leave. ASC have told us that about 10 per cent of their workforce would be prepared to move to WA. We will strip that enterprise of all its corporate knowledge. That will damage national security, because submarine availability will drop. We need to be very sensible about what we do moving forward. This makes no sense. If you've got a billion dollars to spend, spend it on making something new, spend it on improving something; don't spend it on shifting something for political purpose.
Original question, as amended, agreed to.