Federal member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters MP has expressed disappointment with today’s announcement that French company DCNS has won the $50 billion submarine contract.
“I am disappointed that the Federal Government has decided to go with a bid that involves a mix of local and overseas built submarines. This Government has failed to invest in Australian industry and jobs by awarding this important contract to DCNS.
Bendigo and Australia could have had a real jobs boost if the German bid had been successful,” said Ms Chesters.
Local business Keech Australia was invited to join the bid of German manufacturer ThyssenKrupp (tkMSA). The Keech 3D team is world class when it comes to advanced manufacturing and 3D printing, having already designed and manufactured prototype parts for the Thales Hawkei protected mobility vehicle.
“The fact that tkMSA invited Keech to participate in their bid gives a huge tick of approval for local defence manufacturing capability.
“Defence manufacturing in Bendigo certainly has a proud history and I believe this Government has missed an opportunity to support our strong industrial base and skilled workers,” she said.
Winning the submarine contract would also have secured thousands of jobs in the many small to medium businesses who make up the supply chain.
“A viable and competitive naval shipbuilding industry is strategically vital for Australia’s defence, as well as for the continuing health of the heavy engineering and high-tech industries involved in modern military equipment.
“With such a large investment at stake, I believe the Government should have awarded this contract to a bidder that had committed to a 100% Australian build,” said Ms Chesters.
Ms Chesters has previously said she believes one of her main roles as the Federal Member for Bendigo is to promote the city's manufacturers.