STEVE IRONS LIB­ERAL

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

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.

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