South Australia Opposition Leader Steven Marshall
Rudd’s Defence Policy Threatens SA Industries
Victor P Taffa
In another bitter blow to South Australia, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has today announced his intent to move defence industries to northern Australia, threatening the viability of South Australia’s advanced manufacturing and defence industry.
In making his announcement today, Kevin Rudd said:
“It would also create new jobs in Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, Townsville and Cairns. The naval presence in those cities would be expanded and port facilities would need to be upgraded, generating opportunities for local business and industry and supplying and supporting these naval bases…This is also about defence industry, defence infrastructure and defence jobs…”
These increased economic opportunities for northern Australia can only come at the expense of South Australia’s vulnerable defence industry.
This year alone BAE, Saab Systems and Broens have all been forced to make major job cuts and Priority Engineering has closed its doors.
Labor has slashed around $20 Billion from the defence budget since the 2009 Defence White Paper. The fourth Air Warfare Destroyer has been scrapped and there is no timeline or budget commitment for the Future Submarines project.
Mr. Rudd’s reckless defence capability strategy means the South Australian defence industry will face a ‘valley of death’ between the completion of the third Air Warfare Destroyer and the Future Submarines project beyond 2021 at the earliest.
“Moving our defence industry to northern Australia will potentially devastate South Australia’s manufacturing industries, many of whom are already struggling.” State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall said.
“Mr. Rudd’s changes to the Fringe Benefits Tax Scheme – made without any consultation – have already had a devastating impact on South Australia’s automotive and manufacturing industries.”
“Today’s announcement is another blow for South Australia thanks to Kevin Rudd and the Federal Labor Government.” Mr. Marshall said.
“Jay Weatherill must immediately condemn this move by Kevin Rudd and stand up for South Australia.”
“Did Mr. Rudd ever consult with Mr. Weatherill over this decision? Or is this another case of policy-on-the-run by Federal Labor? Just how toxic is this relationship between Kevin Rudd and Jay Weatherill?”
“South Australians deserve a Government with better priorities to get our State back on track and a Premier who will stand up for the best interests of our State.” Mr. Marshall said.