Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie has once again whipped up a media frenzy by stating that the potential building of the national submarine fleet overseas is “un-Australian”. At a press event in Adelaide, Ms. Lambie joined forces with fellow Independent Senator Nick Xenophon to declare that the potential deal was not in the nation’s strategic and economic interests.
After a period of speculation and chatter concerning the building of the Collins Class Submarine fleet, the Government recently announced that it would offer a limited competition tender-based process for the building of the vessels. Companies from Japan, Germany and France are expected to compete for the lucrative contract, which represents billions of dollars worth of taxpayer funds.
Speaking to the press, it was clear that the announcement has raised the ire of the straight-talking senator from Tasmania. “I think it’s very bloody un-Australian of [Prime Minister] Tony Abbott to do that,” Senator Lambie asserted. “That’s not the way forward for Australia. We need to show the rest of the world that we’ve got the capabilities, and we’re capable.”
Senator Nick Xenophon echoed Ms. Lambie’s sentiment, addressing the need for job growth and local employment opportunities within transitional, state-based economies. “It’s jobs growth that’s an issue in South Australia and Tasmania. This is a great national building project that can go ahead and keep going for many, many years with the maintenance program,” he said. “There is no reason why we can’t do this. We have the skills sets. We must continue those skills for the future.”
The last word was left to the cagey Senator Xenophon, who summed up what’s at stake. “If Tony Abbott decides to build the subs outside of Australia, then that would make his decision to knight Prince Philip a masterstroke,” he joked. “He can’t afford to not build the subs in Australia. It’s $20 billion worth of jobs for the build-phase and another $60 to $80 billion in terms of maintenance.”
And that’s no laughing matter.
Westchem, Western Australia’s largest manufacturer and supplier of general and specialty chemical products to a wide range of industries. Get in touch with Westchem today!