50 more skilled shipbuilders at BAE in Williamstown lost their jobs yesterday. This leaves BAE Williamstown’s workforce perilously close to extinction.

Labor’s first thoughts are with the affected workers and their families.

More than fifteen hundred shipbuilding jobs have been lost across Australia under the Liberal Government.

The Australian people have been told that the Turnbull Liberal Government would be different, but it has perpetuated the crisis Tony Abbott caused in shipyards around Australia.

The Government has provided no detail behind their $89 billion shipbuilding plan which was cynically designed to shore up Liberal votes in South Australia for the next election.

In Senate Estimates this week, Defence Minister Payne refused to keep Mr Abbott’s promise that construction of Australia’s Offshore Patrol Vessels would begin in Adelaide, putting the workforce at further risk.

This is after the Abbott/Turnbull Government sent Navy’s new supply ships offshore, while continuing to stall decisions on other major Navy shipbuilding projects.

Our national shipbuilding industry is a vital strategic asset, but at this rate there will not be a shipbuilding industry left to save.

Only Labor can be trusted to ensure Australia’s strategically vital shipbuilding capability has a viable, long-term future.

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