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Defence industry unclear on subs project

by Rashad Loureiro (2019-04-28)

pc"We need to see all sides of politics collaborate to develop a long-term plan that assures the sovereignty, security and economic benefits to the nation," he said. The Defence Teaming Centre represents more than 200 companies involved in the defence industry in South Australia. Centre chief Chris Burns said the employers of about 17,000 workers wanted a long-term strategic plan to shore up the future of shipbuilding.

"Any decisions to build offshore will undermine and undercut our local industry, causing irreversible damage to our local shipbuilding capacity," Mr Burns said. Defence industry companies have called for a bipartisan and fairer approach to replacing the Collins class submarine fleet. Industry figures are also concerned about the government's decision to set up an advisory panel, rather than a construction authority or procurement board.

The companies are concerned about reports Japan is likely to win the contract to replace the Collins class submarines, which are due to leave service in the mid-2020s. The government has announced a "competitive evaluation process" involving Japan, Germany, France and smartphone Australian government-owned shipbuilder ASC.

But Mr Burns said best practice would be to conduct a project definition study followed by a competitive tender.

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