Adelaide-based shipbuilder ASC is set to cut 130 jobs by the end of February 2017 as the Air Warfare Destroyer projects wind down.
The job cuts comprise of 45 trade positions and 85 contract and other positions across the welding, painting, pipework, electricians and operator trade groups. More job losses are expected throughout 2017.
ASC has released a statement about the job losses and future plans, stating that redeployment opportunities would be explored over the coming six-week consultation process, and that both voluntary and non-voluntary redundancy packages should be offered.
“ASC Shipbuilding is actively pursuing future shipbuilding opportunities in the Offshore Patrol Vessel and Future Frigate projects, commencing in 2018 and 2020 respectively,” the statement said.
“The company has maintained that, due to the schedules of the AWD, OPV and Future Frigate projects, some job losses are necessary before the start of the next program.
"The current job reduction activity will have no impact to ASC's submarine workforce or planning for the Future Submarine project.”
Although the job cuts were expected, South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon has lashed out at the company and the federal government, describing it as "nothing short of an avoidable disgrace".
"These shipbuilding jobs should not have been lost if the federal government had a plan to deal with shipbuilding to have continuous shipbuilding as recommended by both Defence and the RAND Corporation," Senator Xenophon said.
"The problem with a stop-start inconsistent nature of shipbuilding because of government policy in this country is that it actually not only costs jobs and breaks people's hearts, but it ends up costing taxpayers billions of dollars more."