Minister for Defence - Questions Mr Shorten needs to answer today

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The Hon Kevin Andrews MP

Minister for Defence

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4 August 2015

Will Mr Shorten offer bipartisan support for the Government’s continuous build programme of naval surface ships in Australia?

Will Mr Shorten commit to match the Government’s defence investment commitment to increase the Defence budget to 2% of GDP by 2023/24?

Will Mr Shorten now acknowledge that in six years of government, Labor did not commission one naval ship from an Australian yard, therefore creating the Valley of Death?

Does Mr Shorten stand behind Labor’s former Defence Minister – now Shadow Cabinet Minister – Joel Fitzgibbon who yesterday conceded that Labor did not commission new shipbuilding project during its last term of government?

Does Mr Shorten stand behind Labor’s former Minister for Defence Materiel, Jason Clare, who said in November 2012: “The key to building these skills is a continuous shipbuilding plan with long term, predictable work”?

Does Mr Shorten now acknowledge that immediately following its 2009 White Paper, Labor cut $16 billion from Defence – reducing spending to 1.56 per cent of GDP, the lowest level since 1938?

Does Mr Shorten now acknowledge that Labor’s decisions to cut defence spending led to 119 defence projects being delayed, 43 projects being reduced in and eight projects cancelled, risking critical capability gaps?

Does Mr Shorten now concede that, during Labor’s time in government, the Australian defence industry shed more than 10% of its workforce because of budget cuts and deferrals, procrastination and lack of opportunity for Australian suppliers?

Why does Mr Shorten propose to delay the delivery of Australia’s future submarine?

How much will Labor’s submarine plan cost? How will it be funded? When will Labor’s submarines be in the water?

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Brad Rowswell (Minister Andrews’ Office) 0417 917 796

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