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Ryan Smith MP, Member for WARRANDYTE


Media Release - Labor’s Defence Jobs “Strategy”

20 April, 2016

Labor’s Defence Jobs “Strategy”

Three months after their Defence Technologies Sector Strategy was leaked wholesale to the media, the Andrews Government has released this document without any fanfare or media announcement.

This demonstrates how ineffectual Daniel Andrews and his Industry Minister – Lily D’Ambrosio – believe their strategy is.

It also betrays the total lack of interest by the Andrews Government in Defence industry job creation.

Despite being delayed by several months, the final paper makes no substantial reference to the Federal Government’s Defence white paper, has no plan for Victoria to dovetail its defence industry strategy with Federal policy, and fails to set out a clear vision for attracting major defence contracts to Victoria.

The document also has no plan for winning Defence contracts from South Australia and New South Wales, other than appointing New South Welshman and a former South Australian Government advisor (and Labor mate) Greg Combet to the nebulously defined role of “sector advocate”.

The document is also based on figures that a previously leaked internal memo proved were dubious, noting:

“The report has used rudimentary economic analysis… to reach the economic value of $4.4–7.9 billion”.

“The $7.9 billion is the upper figure… as precise data is lacking, a range was provided with that upper figure representing a very broad qualification of what constitutes the Victorian defence industry”.

At PAEC hearing in 2015, Lily D’Ambrosio was unable to answer basic questions about defence industry procurement projects, and her Geelong based Defence Procurement Office has no KPIs for jobs created or contracts won.

The result leaves Victoria at a disadvantage compared to South Australia and New South Wales when competing for defence industry projects and jobs.

Quotes attributable to Ryan Smith, Shadow Minister for Industry

“After a year of dithering by Daniel Andrews, Victoria has missed the boat on defence industry jobs.”

“Lily D’Ambrosio has rushed to give Labor mate Greg Combet a job, but has no plans to help Victorians create jobs.”

“When Daniel Andrews releases his defence sector strategy under cover of darkness with no media announcement, you know even he is embarrassed at how useless it is.”

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