A CAMPAIGN to ensure that defence contracts stay in Australia was launched today in Adelaide, South Australia.
The campaign, centred around a website developed by the Defence Teaming Centre (DTC) in South Australia, aims to raise awareness of the need for Australia’s submarines and ships to be built and maintained in Australia to sustain a national defence industry capability that will extend Australia’s security, sovereignty and economy.
The DTC is an industry group that represents defence industry companies in South Australia.
Launching the campaign and the australianmadedefence.com.au website, DTC CEO Chris Burns said the campaign was bipartisan but had the stated aim of securing shipbuilding in Australia so that billions of dollars of investment did not go overseas.
“We are calling on the Federal Government of Australia to come up with a 30-year plan to build and maintain our next generation of submarines and ships in Australia,” Burns said.
“Our national leadership must stop using defence projects as political capital and take a bipartisan approach to developing a national, whole-of-government shipbuilding vision,” he said.
Burns encouraged all defence industry companies to sign up on the website as a way to lobby the Federal Government.
South Australian Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith told addressed defence industry leaders after the launch and told them that keeping defence contracts in Australia would ensure the country would not become just a “farm, mine or tourism destination” to the rest of the world.
Hamilton-Smith said that South Australia needed to not only build the next generation of ships and submarines but also needed to attract the best minds to South Australia and export defence products so as not to rely on the Defence Materiel Organisation as the sole customer for contracts.
Earlier in the week, the Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill, announced that South Australia would partner with the state of Victoria to lobby for shipbuilding to remain in Australia.