The fears of shipbuilders at BAE Williamstown shipyard have been realised as another 100 workers lost their jobs yesterday.
Labor’s first thoughts are with the affected workers and their families at this incredibly tough time.
While these shipbuilders were being escorted off BAE Williamstown by security guards, the Minister for Defence, Kevin Andrews was celebrating the one month anniversary of Tony Abbott’s hollow shipbuilding announcement on social media.
Now is not the time for celebration.
Over a thousand jobs have now been lost under the Abbott Government in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales as a result of the Abbott Government's inaction on shipbuilding.
Instead of procrastinating on social media, the Defence Minister should be doing more to secure the long-term viability of the shipbuilding industry and jobs across Australia. He should immediately stop the process of sending the replacement supply vessel work offshore and start building these ships here.
The Abbott Government has failed to lay out a clear plan for our shipbuilding industry and is more interested in securing Liberal Party seats than Australian shipbuilding jobs.
In addition to the shipbuilders who lost their jobs yesterday, many more are at risk of losing their jobs before Christmas.
This uncertainty, created by the Abbott Government, is cruel and leaves many families understandably anxious, as they wait to hear if they will have a job at the end of the year.
Only Labor can be trusted to ensure Australia’s strategically vital naval shipbuilding capability has a viable, long-term future.