Labor is concerned by reports that BAE Australia has decided not to respond to the Abbott Government’s Request for Tender for the replacement of the Pacific Patrol Boat.


This is another blow to Australia’s shipbuilding industry.


The company cited, in an internal message to staff this morning, the Abbott Government’s timing of the program as the ‘biggest challenge facing the Maritime business.’


BAE Australia’s decision is another sign of how the chaos and uncertainty of the Abbott Government is undermining the Australian shipbuilding industry.


Approximately 1,000 ship builders are employed by BAE Australia at their Williamstown shipyard.


BAE Australia also told its workers that the Abbott Government needs to accelerate the Future Frigate project along with a plan that supports continuous production.


Instead of providing the industry with certainty and a plan for Australian shipbuilding, the Abbott Government has gone out of its way to denigrate Australian shipyards and workers.


The uncertainty the Abbott Government has created has already resulted in the loss hundreds of jobs at BAE in Williamstown.


This is on top of the 450 jobs lost at Forgacs in Newcastle and 120 jobs lost at ASC to date.


Thousands more jobs are at risk.


The replacement Pacific Patrol Boats are critical to Australia’s maritime engagement within the South Pacific region.


The Pacific Patrol Boat Program enables Pacific Island countries to take an active part in securing their extensive Exclusive Economic Zones.


Today’s news from BAE Australia comes just a day after Tony Abbott’s hand-picked chief of the National Commission of Audit made an impassioned plea for our Future Submarines and Frigates to be built in Australia.


Labor is committed to building, maintaining and sustaining Australia’s future submarines in Australia.


Only Labor has a credible plan to build the Navy ships and submarines Australia needs to protect our national strategic interests.


Tony Abbott must end the chaos and uncertainty his Government’s has inflicted on the Australian shipbuilding industry.

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