Minister for Defence – Transcript – Doorstop, Carbon Revolution Geelong

MINISTER ANDREWS:

Ladies and gentlemen I’m delighted to be here at Deakin University in Geelong with my FederalColleague Sarah Henderson, the Member for Corangamite. We’ve had a very interesting morning, a forum looking at defence industry prospects here in Geelong in light of new projects that will be coming online over the next few years. And also a visit to this wonderful facility at Carbon Revolution who are at the forefront of a niche market in terms of manufacturing in Australia, exporting to the world. The sort of venture which is very innovative, very creative and very local here in Geelong. Sarah.

SARAH HENDERSON:

Minister thank you very much for being here today, it’s wonderful to have you here in this great city. Of course with the request for tender announcement imminent for Land 400 I’m advocating very strongly for my city and for Corangamite to be up there at the very top of the list when it comes to consideration. Minister thank you very much for your briefing today, it’s been a great opportunity to learn more about Geelong’s capacity. We are a great advanced manufacturing city and here at Carbon Revolution is a really great example of what can be done, 150, 160 jobs online with support from the Geelong region innovation and investment fund. Some absolutely incredible things happening in advanced manufacturing in our region. I’m very proud of what we are doing and Minister thank you again for being here so we can showcase the very best this region has to offer.

QUESTION:

Minister Miss Henderson said there would be tenders going out imminently; can you tell us more about the timeline?

MINISTER ANDREWS:

Look we will be shortly making an announcement about the tender process, then there will be a proper open tender process. One of the important things about this is that one of the things that will be looked at is the Australian industry involvement in any successful tender so we are quite confident that there is a place for Australian industry as part of these sort of projects. There’s been some wonderful developments so far as defence industry is concerned. Friday I was in Brisbane at TAE who are an integral part of the new Joint Strike Fighter, we know that there is work by a company here in Victoria involved in that Joint Strike Fighter as well. We have the Bushmaster vehicles which are probably the best of their kind in the world manufactured here in Victoria so it’s a bright future for defence manufacturing in Australia.

QUESTION:

Can you guarantee that local or there will be the opportunity for local involvement in the project?

MINISTER ANDREWS:

Well the briefing this morning was all about saying to local industry that here’s an opportunity particularly to join in a consortia with others elsewhere to ensure that we have a part to play as far as Australian industry is concerned. We are keen to ensure that and my visit here is to send the message to local industry get involved, be part of the tender process because there is a real consideration in this process for Australian involvement.

QUESTION:

Just to pick you up on the specific words, you did say open tender there?

MINISTER ANDREWS:

Well this is a tender for a particular vehicle, we are looking at vehicles that are currently in operation but obviously they have to have a life of probably about 30 years. That means that there’s going to be an ongoing involvement refurbishment in making sure their weapons systems, their information technology systems that are very important the digitisation of these systems is there, not just immediately when the vehicle is created when it’s manufactured but is there for the life of vehicle as well. So this is looking at a long term investment and a real part that Australian industry can play in that as we’ve seen in other examples around the country.

QUESTION:

There’s been concern that the project could be downgraded, is it still a $10 billion project?

MINISTER ANDREWS:

Well we’re looking through this tender process, this is overall about $10 billion worth of expenditure and this is about us ensuring that the future capability needs of Australian Defence Forces are in place for the future and as I said this is not just about this year or next year, this is about the next two or three decades.

QUESTION:

Sarah what do you expect Geelong’s role could be to play in this, are we talking about manufacturing jobs, are we talking about research and development, and how many jobs do you expect?

SARAH HENDERSON:

Well I think as the Minister has said this is all about ensuring that we can have as much local industry involvement in this project and that’s very much a focus of mine. There is enormous opportunity, of course there’s a lot of hard work, local industry players have to demonstrate their capability. It’s an enormous project and even just in the maintenance of these vehicles there is incredible scope for a place like Geelong. But at this stage we are out there advocating for Geelong’s capabilities and we are an amazing city with advanced manufacturing skills and here at Carbon Revolution that really just demonstrates the leaps and bounds that are being made even in automotive manufacturing which of course the Labor Party often says car manufacturing is dead well I can tell you in the great city of Geelong it is far from dead. Places like Carbon Revolution are demonstrating that and we are proudly showcasing our capacity to the Minister and to the rest of the country.

QUESTION:

So are you advocating for those manufacturing jobs or is it more the higher end research and development?

SARAH HENDERSON:

Oh this is all about jobs. At the end of the day this is all about jobs, this is about opportunity, this is about bringing industry to our city of course you know I am an advocate, I’m advocating for my region and that’s what I’m here to do and that’s very very important. But at the end of the day, every single day, I am fighting for jobs for Corangamite and for Geelong and this is another one of those days in which I’m doing that.

QUESTION:

Minister are you (inaudible) for school leavers to wait six months before they receive the dole?

MINISTER ANDREWS:

Well the Minister for Social Services I believe has made some announcements about that and you should take up the detail with him.

QUESTION:

Whose idea was it?

MINISTER ANDREWS:

Thank you, that’s it, thank you.

Ends.


Subscribe to our RSS Feed