Wednesday, 24 July 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Defence. Minister, given the unprecedented investment in Australia's naval capability, and specifically the continuous shipbuilding program under our Naval Shipbuilding Plan, can you update the Senate on how this benefits Australian workers?
I thank Senator Fawcett for that question. I also congratulate him for his deep and enduring support for and engagement in the delivery of defence capability, in particular our shipbuilding program. I can confirm to the Senate that the Australian government is investing an unprecedented $90 billion through the Naval Shipbuilding Program in new naval capability for this nation. As our region and our oceans become more contested—increasingly so—we need new, capable marine platforms that will deter threats to our interests and also provide for our security. This is why we are investing in the largest regeneration of our Navy since World War II. I'm delivering a plan that will see Australia deliver 12 Attack class submarines, 12 Arafura class offshore patrol vessels, nine Hunter class frigates, 21 Guardian class patrol boats, two mine countermeasures support ships and one hydrographic survey vessel.
This government is building 57 naval vessels in Australia, by Australians, with Australian steel. This major investment will provide capability for the surveillance and protection of our maritime approaches and the ability to operate with our partners seamlessly. The capability will make a real contribution to peace in our region for decades to come. It will also enhance the ADF's capability for regional humanitarian relief and disaster relief, which is crucial to our support and work with our partners in the Indo-Pacific. To deliver this capability we are taking a whole-of-nation, whole-of-industry approach, which is exactly what is required for Australia to succeed in this important national endeavour.
I've also had the opportunity in recent weeks to visit South Australia and see the work already underway to build our air warfare destroyers and the first of the offshore patrol vessels. It is fabulous and wonderful. I'm so proud to see the progress and work that has been achieved by this side of the House.
This government is transforming the relationship between Defence and the defence industry here in Australia through a clear, long-term plan to strengthen Australia's industrial base. Already, the implementation of the $90 billion Naval Shipbuilding Plan is well underway, with the construction of the Arafura class offshore patrol vessels and, I'm very pleased to say, the Guardian class Pacific patrol boats in my own home state of Western Australia.
The Morrison government is making a $1 billion investment to construct the world's most advanced shipyards in both South Australia and Western Australia. This work is well underway in creating approximately 15,000 skilled and professional jobs across these programs, real jobs in Australia—
Senator Kim Carr interjecting—
unlike what you did not deliver. Through you, Mr President: how many Australian-built ships did those opposite deliver? None. They didn't order a single one. But under our program— (Time expired)
I'd be delighted to. This government is transforming the relationship between Defence and defence industry. Recently I had the opportunity to visit the BAE Systems Govan shipyard in Glasgow, in the United Kingdom, where I experienced firsthand the build progress on the City class Type 26 frigate for the Royal Navy, the design that will form the basis of our new Hunter class frigate. During this visit, I announced the latest Australian supplier to be awarded work through the Type 26 supply chain, the Adelaide based company Airspeed. This is just one of many examples of the government's support to the Australian defence export sector. I was also pleased and very proud to travel to Cherbourg in France to attend the launch of France's first Barracuda class submarine with President Macron and my counterpart, Minister Parly. Strong engagement with France is critical as we embark on delivering a strategically vital capability supported by a strong industrial base.