STEVE IRONS LIBERAL
1. When announcing the $195 billion for defence funding acquisitions in February, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it was necessary because Australia was facing its greatest defence challenges since World War II. Do you agree with that statement? It is very important for our defence forces to have the best capability available. Recent terrorist attacks demonstrate that terrorism has no boundaries and can occur at any time. The Government will invest in a more capable, agile and potent Australian Defence Force to 2025-26. 2. Should the Federal Government be spending $195 billion on defence acquisitions over the next decade with its budget constraints? It is important that we ensure Australia's national security and economic prosperity, both now and for decades to come. To help ensure this, the Government will build Australia's fleet of 12 regionally superior submarines in Adelaide. This decision will create over 1100 shipbuilding jobs in Adelaide and around 1700 jobs through the supply chain across Australia. Our continuous build program for the Navy's surface ships will commence with the construction of 12 offshore patrol vessels in Adelaide and in Henderson in WA from 2018, and the construction of 9 future frigates in Adelaide from 2020. These decisions will create 2000 jobs in Adelaide and more than 400 jobs in Western Australia. The Government has also signed a contract with Austal for the construction of up to 21 replacement steelhulled pacific patrol boats in Henderson in Western Australia. 3. Should the Federal Government be looking at getting the best possible return on taxpayers' funds by sourcing defence equipment from overseas or is it more important to support the Australian defence construction industry? In order to maximise Australian industry involvement across all Defence acquisition and sustainment projects, the Government has released a Defence Industry Policy Statement, which lays out a comprehensive set of initiatives to assist industry to ensure more of our defence investment is spent within Australia.