Government Must Mandate SA For Build of New Naval Vessel

9 November 2018

Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick has called on the Federal Government and Defence Minister Christopher Pyne to mandate South Australia as the build location of the new large-hulled humanitarian and disaster relief vessel announced today.

Senator Patrick welcomed today's news that the Government is investing in a new vessel, which will be used by Australia to support neighbouring countries deal with natural disasters, but has called on the Government to commit to building the ship in SA.

"South Australia is the home of all the expertise and facilities for large naval vessels," said Rex. "Building this large vessel in South Australia is also consistent with a recommendation put forward by the Future of Australia's Naval Shipbuilding Industry Committee which called for all Commonwealth procured vessels to be built in Australia."

"Right now the Government is building state-of-the-art shipyards in South Australia to accommodate the build of the Future Frigates and Future Submarines. It makes sense that we ensure these new shipyards can build this humanitarian ship, future naval supply ships, future icebreakers and other naval auxiliaries."

"It is important to note the Government offshored the current RAN Supply Ship build to Spain and the Antarctic Division's Icebreaker to Romania. This was done because the cart before the horse Naval Shipbuilding Plan came out well after all substantial shipbuilding decisions had already been made. These job exporting decisions were extremely harmful to both Australian companies and Australian workers."

Senator Patrick currently has a Defence Amendment (Sovereign Naval Shipbuilding) Bill 2018 before the Parliament calling on all future ships to be built in Australia.

"That Bill will ensure all new naval vessels, for example, patrol boats, frigates, destroyers, submarines, supply ships, would be built in Australia by Australian-controlled companies."

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