South Australia’s economic future will be a bit brighter thanks to the crucial defence investments the state has received, according to Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne.
Speaking at the AmCham Luncheon in Adelaide, Minister Pyne took aim at fellow South Australian politicians who have criticised him and the government's defence investment in South Australia, arguing the lion's share of Defence's naval spend will have generational benefits.
"These opportunities will have a life measured in decades, in generations – infinitely longer than those whose misinformed postulations struggle to survive in the media cycle for more than a few hours at a time, yet keep on coming," said Minister Pyne.
"These people claim to be the only politicians South Australians can trust, yet all they offer are armchair critiques and endless variations on the old states versus Canberra blame game."
In mid-August, South Australian senator Nick Xenophon accused Minister Pyne and the federal government of giving Adelaide-based shipbuilder ASC Shipbuilding an execution notice by not mandating the use of an Australian shipbuilder in the Future Frigates Project tender.
At the luncheon, Minister Pyne insisted the workforce at ASC's Osborne shipyard will play an important role in the upcoming naval shipbuilding projects.
"The workforce at Osborne remains critical to our continuous build programs," said the minister.
"Osborne’s workers will be in high demand, with new calls on their skills and initiative regardless of the shipbuilders and contracting models selected to deliver our new vessels.
"We will need an additional 5,000 skilled workers at Osborne between now and the mid‑2020s, along with a further 10,000 workers nationwide to support sustainment activities and industry supply chains."
Two Offshore Patrol Vessels, nine Future Frigates and 12 Future Submarines will be constructed in South Australia, at Osborne.