The shedding of another 101 blue collar contract worker jobs at ASC today makes it essential that the Federal Government decides to build the Future Submarines and Frigates in Australia.
More than 500 naval shipbuilding jobs have been cut nationally this year, renewing calls for the Federal Government to immediately commit to a continuous naval shipbuilding program.
Defence Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith said the latest job losses reported highlight the perilous situation facing naval shipbuilding in Australia.
“This news is extremely disappointing for the workers and their families.
“Federal Government indecision on defence procurement is causing job losses at Melbourne based BAE Systems Australia, Newcastle based Forgacs and Adelaide based ASC.
“The State Government is supportive of ASC’s endeavours to improve productivity. However consistent job losses underline the need for the right decisions to be made in Canberra about submarines and surface ships.
“The Federal Government must provide Australia’s defence industry with clarity and immediately rule out an overseas or hybrid build,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he will soon announce a plan to restructure shipbuilding in Australia to remove the gaps between projects and to avoid further layoffs.
“This announcement must include a firm commitment to back Australia’s naval shipbuilding capabilities and to support Australian workers and their families, small business and defence industries,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
What we need now from the Federal Government is the delivery of a 30 year continuous strategic ship building plan for Australia to rescue an industry which is hanging on for survival.”
“$250 billion worth of naval shipbuilding work is at stake over the next 30 years.
“Economic modelling shows that there are 120,000 man-years of work at risk if the Federal Government decides to send the submarine build overseas.
“South Australia is the centre for excellence in naval shipbuilding, underpinned by our highly skilled workers,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“Our next generation of submarines and Future Frigates must be built in Australia, by Australian workers, to defend Australia.