PRIVATE MEMBERS BILL: Australia’s Defence Capability

Mr Speaker, I rise today to speak about the Morrison Government’s $270 billion investment into Australia’s Defence Capability.

Mr Speaker, not only do I support this bill, I applaud this bill!

We are living in increasingly uncertain times, both at home and abroad.

Australia should and must always prioritise its own interests.

And that is exactly Mr Speaker what the Morrison Government is doing.

We are ensuring the men and women of the Australian Defence Force have the capability they need to keep Australians safe and secure.

Currently, 15,000 businesses and 70,000 Australians are employed in our Defence industry.

These numbers will increase thanks to our $270 billion plan.

It will create new jobs for skilled workers and investment in our local communities over the coming decade and beyond.

Mr Speaker, it is more important than ever we are keeping Australians in work.

Queensland is headed towards being Australia’s front line for Defence industry and that’s thanks to the Morrison Government’s ongoing commitment to Australia’s Defence capability.

Our Government is investing in growing Queensland’s Defence capability; supporting Queensland’s small businesses and enabling thousands of jobs.

Mr Speaker, North Queensland has an established Defence industry.

This is Member for Herbert, Phillip Thompson’s patch.

It is gold standard and an example of what can be achieved.

Townsville has a long and proud role at the core of our nation’s Defence.

It is Australia’s largest garrison city.

Our plan will help strengthen Townsville’s Defence strategy over the decades to come.

We are committing $31 million in the delivery of a new, three-storey Armoured Vehicle Simulation Centre in Townsville.

This equates to 110 local jobs.

Jobs that are crucial in keeping Australians safe.

As part of this plan, Queensland also welcomes the first of the fleet of new Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles.

It enables the delivery of 211 Boxer CRV’s creating 330 local jobs in Queensland.

Mr Speaker, our plan benefits both the state of Queensland and my electorate of Bonner.

Mr Speaker, Bonner is home to successful Defence contracts critical to building up our local industry.

In 2019, Skyborne Technologies based in Murarrie was awarded a $463,000 grant by the Morrison Government to enhance manufacturing capability and further research into Artificial Intelligence.

They are making their mark on Australia’s Defence industry through the development of armoured drones.

Mr Speaker, Bonner is also home to Tingalpa based Defence manufacturer Ferra Engineering, who in late 2020 were awarded a Defence Global Competiveness Grant of $127,000 to enhance export manufacturing capability.

Ferra Engineering are one of Australia’s largest independently owned technology companies serving the aerospace and Defence industries.

Mr Speaker, the Morrison Government is creating the environment for Australian businesses to thrive.

I recently visited Crystal Aid’s headquarters in Tingalpa who are undertaking incredible work specialising in Defence, medical and aerospace industries.

I was excited to congratulate them on being one of six Australian small businesses who were awarded $207,000 in Morrison Government grants designed to boost their export potential.

Bonner is going from strength to strength when it comes to Defence.

Mr Speaker, small business is the backbone of our economy.

Our Government is enabling small business to be front and centre of Defence capability and infrastructure.

Mr Speaker, next week Land Forces which is a premier international land Defence exposition is taking place in Queensland.

It will showcase equipment, technology and services for the armies of Australia and the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

Under the Morrison Government, Queensland has an exciting and young Defence industry base.

For this event to go ahead, it’s clear there is confidence in the Queensland Defence industry.

The Morrison Government is getting on with the job of delivering for Defence and our Defence industry.

Mr Speaker, compare this to the previous Labor Government who sat idle for six years.

Labor gutted $18 billion from the Defence Budget. $18 billion Mr Speaker!

Labor did not commission a single Australian built ship.

Whereas the Morrison Government is creating at least 15,000 jobs in Australian Defence shipbuilding.

It’s not enough to just talk about the Defence of our nation.

You need a plan, and you need to execute and invest in that plan.

And that Mr Speaker, is how the Morrison Government is building the strongest Defence industry the country has ever seen.