90 sec statement - Australia Munitions contracts needed
Posted September 04, 2014
CATHY McGOWAN (Indi) (13:42): While I too support the importance of small business in rural and regional Australia, today I would like to talk about the importance of manufacturing and urge the government to prioritise finalisation of contract arrangements to provide stability for their Australian Munitions factories in Benalla and Mulwala.
These factories are significant employers of skilled workers and provide great contributions to our armed forces. The
importance of Australian Munitions extends beyond Indi and Murray and is an international player in the market.
When contemplating future contracts for the supply of munitions, I ask the government to consider all the wider costs and benefits of continuing support for this important local employer.
Firstly, the government has already invested considerably in upgrading and modernising the Benalla and Mulwala facilities. Secondly, when large-scale local employers like the munitions factory lose government business, the
Commonwealth inevitably incurs substantial costs as a consequence in the form of welfare payments and
loss of income tax revenue. Finally, it is vitally important that Australia retain the skills and experience of hazardous industry workers, as these skills may be difficult or impossible to replace in the future.
Australian Munitions has a very successful track record as a leading manufacturer in Australia, particularly in rural and regional Australia. I ask the government to continue their successful investment in the company in the future. (Time expired)