Bendigo could be in line for a jobs boost if Keech wins a components contract for Australia’s new submarines, Lisa Chesters MP says.
Last week, it was reported that a local business, Keech Australia, has been invited by German submarine manufacturer ThyssenKrupp (TKMSA) to join their bid to supply the Australian Navy’s new submarines.
Three bidders have been asked to provide various options to the Government for consideration ‐ 100% overseas built; a mix of local and overseas built; and 100% Australian built through the Government’s Competitive Evaluation Process (CEP).
Ms Chesters welcomed the news and said the importance of an Australian‐built defence manufacturing contract to Bendigo cannot be understated.
“This contact will secure many small to medium supply chain businesses and jobs,” she said.
“Like many Australians, I support a defence shipbuilding and submarine sector plan that maintains a viable defence shipbuilding and repair capability in Australia.”
Ms Chesters said Labor supports all three bidders of Australia’s Future Submarines who have expressed their desire for a sovereign build (Australian Made).
“I call on the Liberal Government to award this contract to a bidder who will build our subs in Australia, like they did with the Thales Bendigo Hawkei contract.”
“My fear is that this contract could go to a cheaper bidder if the Government opts for the 100% built overseas option.
This would result in local Australian job losses as well as Australian‐based companies like Keech Australia missing out on vital supply chain contracts and therefore jobs.
“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 weaponry.”