While the Abbot government deliberates on who will build our next generation of naval vessels-submarines the premiers of Victoria and South Australia have taken it upon themselves to campaign to keep the ship building industry alive. They are asking Canberra to commit funds to 30 years of ongoing naval projects to avoid a “Valley of Death” – the void in between major projects. The premiers are calling for the next submarines to be built here and for every project to have a percentage of local content. In direct contrast the AWD and LHD projects currently underway are Spanish Navantia ships.
The two premiers are also calling for funding to build a 4th AWD and tendering to construct 2 supply ships.
Federal Defence Minister Kevin Andrews accused the premiers of playing politics saying, “If the Premiers actually cared about the future of the defence industry in Australia they would have lobbied the former federal Labor government who, over their six years, did not commission a single naval vessel from an Australian shipyard.”