Yesterday the Turnbull Government announced a new plan for nationwide shipbuilding activities. It is a pity their vision of a ‘nationwide’ shipbuilding plan is tainted with pork-barreling for marginal seats in South Australia which gets more than 95 percent of the $90 billion.
The Turnbull Government states their shipbuilding enterprise will have massive benefits for all of Australia and stresses it will be a generations-long national endeavour. But the overwhelming majority of benefits and jobs flow to South Australia with a few crumbs to Western Australia.
The plan even highlights the need for a long-term education and training approach for specialised shipbuilding, but how will this happen with the Turnbull Government’s slashing of education funding to give a massive $65 billion tax break to big business and millionaires rather than ensure our TAFE’s and Universities are properly funded to deliver the workers we need?
Can the Turnbull Government really say they are committed to developing highly skilled, Australian jobs, if they’re changing the rules so that their mates at the top-end of town are paying as little tax as possible?
The Northern Territory Government is focused on delivering a ship-lift facility in the Top End. This facility will create jobs across a broad range of industries, with huge potential in the resources, civilian and military industries. The facility is a serious plan for quality investment in the Top End and will create real, sustainable jobs for Territorians and Defence maintenance and support.
If the Turnbull Government is actually committed to job creation and is serious about skilling up Australians, there would have been a co-investment announcement in the Federal Budget for the Northern Territory ship-lift facility and they would not be pursing their cuts to higher education and TAFE.
Labor’s Assistant Shadow Minister for Defence, Gai Brodtmann, is currently visiting the Top End and we have been meeting with local businesses in our efforts to improve accessibility to Defence contracts for Territory businesses. We are serious about improving opportunities for our companies to get a fair go at the work.
The Turnbull Government’s plan for naval development isn’t a plan to create Australian jobs. It’s just a plan for Malcolm Turnbull to save his job.