Daily BulletinHoliday Centre

The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation
imageTony Abbott has announced a commitment to defence shipbuilding in South Australia.Ben Macmahon/AAP

The government has unveiled a centrepiece of its coming Defence White Paper, bringing forward a A$40 billion program to build surface warships, centred on the economically ailing state of South Australia.

The acceleration is aimed at saving jobs that would have otherwise been lost on the original timetable.

During an intensive campaigning visit to SA – where unemployment is above 8% and the Coalition’s stocks are at rock bottom – Tony Abbott said that from 2020 onward those employed continuously in surface naval shipbuilding would climb to about 2500.

Most of the workers would be in Adelaide “because Adelaide is where the major shipbuilding infrastructure is”.

But senator Nick Xenophon, who plans to run lower house candidates in the election, immediately questioned the credibility of the government’s commitment, given that it appeared to be walking away from a 2013 election promise by its then-defence spokesman David Johnston to build 12 submarines in SA.

Where the submarines are to be built is yet to be determined. However, the government has pledged there will be substantial work, especially from maintenance, in SA.

The government said that over the next 20 years, $89 billion would be invested in ships and submarines for the Australian Navy.

In Tuesday’s announcement, the Future Frigate program to replace the ANZAC class frigates will be brought forward to start in 2020, three years earlier than scheduled under Labor’s Defence Capability Plan.

Construction of Offshore Patrol Vessels, or Corvettes, to replace the Armidale class patrol boats, is to be brought forward by two years, to begin in 2018.

The government says that in the short term, the bring-forward will sustain around 1000 jobs that would otherwise have been lost.

“It should mean that at no stage does the total number of jobs in naval shipbuilding in Australia drop below about 1000, so that when we do start building up again to 2500 from 2020, it’s not the cold start that would otherwise be the case,” Abbott said.

But in the meantime there will be a dip in employment from the present level of about 2000. Abbott said the government could not entirely make up for the neglect of decision-making between 2008 and 2013.

Defence Minister Kevin Andrews said that “never before in the history of federation has a national government announced a continuous ship build in Australia”.

While the major surface shipbuilding will be in Adelaide, the subordinate yard could be in SA or elsewhere, for example at Williamstown in Victoria.

In relation to the submarines, Abbott said the government had asked the various potential partners to give a price for a domestic build, a hybrid build and an offshore build.

Xenophon, who polled nearly two quotas at the Senate election, is targeting in particular the Liberal seats of Hindmarsh, Boothby, Sturt and Mayo. The latter two seats are held by ministers Christopher Pyne and Jamie Briggs respectively.

Xenophon said the government could not expect to be believed on the frigates until it delivered on its promise to build the $50 billion submarines in SA.

Xenophon said the promised frigate build was at least two elections away and the announcement was “alarmingly short on detail”.

Labor defence spokesman Stephen Conroy said that “what we’re seeing today is a circus in South Australia to protect Tony Abbott’s job and Christopher Pyne’s job”.

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/government-accelerates-warship-building-in-bid-to-prop-up-south-australian-economy-45669


The Conversation


Alan Jones interview with Scott Morrison

ALAN JONES: The Prime Minister is on the line from Canberra. Prime Minister, good morning.   PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Alan. I’m in Sydney this morning I got back last night.   JONES: Oh, ...

Alan Jones - avatar Alan Jones

Scott Morrison Virus Announcement

PRIME MINISTER: Good afternoon. Keeping Australians safe - that is the priority of our Government as we deal with what has been an emerging situation with the coronavirus. Each and every day there a...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Closing the Gap Statement to Parliament

Mr Speaker, when we meet in this place, we are on Ngunnawal country. I give my thanks and pay my respects to our Ngunnawal elders, past, present and importantly emerging for our future. I honour...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News


Apart from being home to kangaroos, Australia’s North Gold Coast is an epicurean delight for tourists seeking relaxation amidst ‘thrills and chills’ on their vacation! From widespread beaches with s...

News Company - avatar News Company

Is It Necessary To Enroll Your Employees In First Aid Training?

Employees are a vital asset to any business, whether it’s a construction company or a legal firm. That’s why it’s important for employers to take necessary measures in ensuring the safety and health...

Joe Curmi - avatar Joe Curmi

Having a mentor is a must to take your business to the next level

Kerstyn Walsh will have the chance to meet her business mentor, LA-based wedding planner to the stars, Lisa Vorce, which will be game-changing for growing Kerstyn’s business Kerstyn Walsh, a self-emp...

Media Release - avatar Media Release


Travelling With Pets? Here Is What You Should Know

Only a pet parent can understand the dilemma one experiences while planning a vacation. Do you leave your pets at home?  Will you get a pet sitter or someone to take care of them while you are away?...

News Company - avatar News Company

How to Be a Smart Frugal Traveller

You are looking through Instagram, watching story after story of your followers overseas at a beach in Santorini, walking through the piazza in Italy, and eating a baguette in front of the Eiffel ...

News Company - avatar News Company


Graduation is the stage of life when a student receives the rewards of hard work of years. It must have taken sleepless nights and tiring days to achieve the task. Now, as you have received your cov...

News Company - avatar News Company