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States in the dark on Naval Shipbuilding Plan

States in the dark on Naval Shipbuilding Plan
HMAS Parramatta being prepared to undock after her Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade at BAE Systems Henderson Shipyard, Western Australia.

State governments have criticised the federal government following the release of the Naval Shipbuilding Plan, which they say “fell from the sky” as they were not made privy to it prior to the official release.

Both South Australian and West Australian representatives have gone on the record and said the long-awaited Naval Shipbuilding Plan was only shown to them upon the official release with the rest of the nation.

SA's Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith disparaged the federal government for not consulting with the states on the national plan and has claimed much more needs to be done to fix the document.

"This plan was not thoroughly consulted with the states, industry or workers and has dropped from the sky," Minister Hamilton-Smith said.

"Second, the plan is defined not by what it says, but by what it does not say. Thirdly, it contains some wishful thinking and optimistic timelines which may pull it apart."

WA Minister for Defence Issues Paul Papalia also told the media that he only saw the plan when it was released to the public.

"WA was a complete afterthought – I heard about the announcement at the same time the rest of the country did," Minister Papalia said.

Other state representatives were contacted by Defence Connect as to whether they received a copy of the plan prior to the official release, but were not available to respond by publication deadline.

The state's are not the only ones to criticise the document and the federal government, with the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU) also calling for quick action from the government.

"Urgent action is required by the federal government to secure existing expertise, as well as the negotiating of an iron clad obligation on the builder to transfer capability and know-how to Australian workers on the projects," said AMWU assistant secretary Peter Bauer. 

"The naval shipbuilding plan is of limited use without contracted capability being built into build contracts to ensure every opportunity is given to develop the industry domestically."

 

 

States in the dark on Naval Shipbuilding Plan
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