20 February 2017

Local Member of Federal Parliament Madeleine King MP has questioned Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s commitment to the local defence shipbuilding industry saying his recent funding announcement was too little, too late.

“On a rare visit to Perth ahead of the WA election Mr Turnbull announced $100 million for defence shipbuilding infrastructure saying it would secure the future of the industry for decades to come,” Ms King said.

“But if he was truly concerned about the industry’s future, he should have considered WA last year when he was awarding billions of dollars in defence contracts to South Australia.  

“I wonder what sort of impact Mr Turnbull imagines $100 million as compared to South Australia’s nearly $90 billion will have on the industry?

“Even his Liberal Party colleague WA Treasurer Mike Nahan has complained about the amount of defence contracts being given to South Australia.”

Ms King said investment in infrastructure was needed in Western Australia as the State struggled with unemployment following the end of the construction phase of the mining boom.

“It is vital that Government invests in projects and industries that provide jobs for the thousands of people out of work at the moment,” Ms King said.

“Mark McGowan and WA Labor has committed to creating Defence West, a dedicated body which will work with local industry to deliver defence industry contracts and create much-needed jobs.

“This dedicated approach shows long-term commitment to the local industry rather than the piecemeal announcements by the Liberal Government.”