Bill's Media Releases


Tony Abbott’s neglect of Australia’s strategically vital shipbuilding industry has resulted in another 101 workers being laid off in South Australia.


Earlier today 101 contractors at the ASC worksite in Adelaide were told to pack up their tools just before they started their lunch break.


Labor’s first thoughts are with the affected workers and their families who are dealing with the anxiety and uncertainty of losing their jobs.


We met with workers at ASC on Monday to express our support and to reassure them that Labor is committed to building, maintaining and sustaining 12 Future Submarines in South Australia.


We also called on Mr Abbott to guarantee the future of Australia’s shipyards.  Yet Mr Abbott has been silent while this industry withers.


On Mr Abbott’s watch the industry has lost 610 jobs at Forgacs in Newcastle, more than 200 jobs at ASC in Adelaide and hundreds more at BAE in Williamstown.


Thousands more highly-skilled Australian jobs are still at risk.


These latest layoffs follow yesterday’s alarming report in the Australian Financial Review that the Abbott Government is planning to have just one shipyard in Australia to service all of our naval shipbuilding needs.


Yesterday’s report also indicated that the Abbott Government intends to break its promise to build 12 submarines, instead reducing the number to eight and thereby effectively abandoning a local continuous build.


Since coming to power nearly two years ago the Abbott Government has done nothing but create dysfunction and chaos within Australia’s shipbuilding industry.


Last year Mr Abbott sent the construction of the Navy’s new supply ships offshore without allowing Australian companies to compete, ships that the former Labor Government would have built in Australia.


Just weeks later the industry learned about the Prime Minister’s secret deal to send the construction of Australia’s Future Submarines to Japan.


At the height of Liberal Party leadership tensions, Mr Abbott invented his sham submarine process to save his own job.


Now 101 more hard-working South Australians have paid the price for Mr Abbott’s negligence.


Mr Abbott must act immediately to provide certainty for the shipbuilding industry and its workers.


Mr Abbott must act now to secure Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding industry while there is still an industry left to save.


FRIDAY, 17 JULY 2015



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