Minister for Defence -Media Statement - Opposition Announcement on Submarines - 25 March 2015

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The Hon Kevin Andrews MP

Minister for Defence

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25 March 2015

Today, Bill Shorten and the Labor Party proposed to delay the Future Submarine Programme by an additional five years, on top of the six years of delay and inaction when Labor was in government.

Defence advises that a formal limited tender process would take around five years – not the 18 months Labor claims – delaying even further the essential work of developing and building the future submarine.

This announcement follows six years of Labor Government risking critical capability gaps by refusing to make a decision on the replacement for the Collins class submarines.

What Labor has proposed today is fantasy and could potentially risk Australia’s safety and security.

The Opposition is all words and no action on future submarines. Just look at their track record. They didn’t commit to building a single naval ship in Australia during their six years in Government – not one.

They were solely responsible for what is now known as “Labor’s valley of death” in the shipbuilding industry and creating job losses and uncertainty amongst the shipbuilding workforce.

This all occurred against the backdrop of them cutting $16 billion from Defence – reducing spending as a percentage of GDP to the lowest level since 1938.

This Government, on the other hand, is fixing Labor’s defence mess and getting Defence spending back on a trajectory towards two per cent of GDP.

The Government has the only realistic plan that provides a clear pathway for Australian industry to maximise its involvement in the programme, whilst not compromising capability, cost, programme schedule or risk.

This plan will result in the creation at least 500 new high-skill jobs in Australia, the majority of which will be based in South Australia.

When it comes to submarines, Labor is completely out of their depth.

Media Contacts:

Brad Rowswell (Minister Andrews’ Office) 0417 917 796

Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

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