Williamstown: Daniel Andrews in push to save shipyard jobs

Williamstown’s shipyard could shed hundreds of jobs by April unless it obtains more work from the Commonwealth, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews warned last week.

14th Jan 2015



Williamstown: Daniel Andrews in push to save shipyard jobs


Williamstown’s shipyard could shed hundreds of jobs by April unless it obtains more work from the Commonwealth, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews warned last week.
Mr Andrews said BAE Systems had briefed him that it would begin laying off hundreds of workers in just a few months unless it received assignments very soon.


In October, Star Weekly reported that there would be job losses at BAE Systems in the new year if it did not secure new contracts. This was despite BAE being awarded a contract to produce three additional hull blocks under an $8.5 billion Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) program.


Contract work on Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships runs out in the third quarter of this year, creating a gap in work.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said governments needed to commit to an ongoing, rolling build. In October, then-state manufacturing minister David Hodgett had said “timely decision-making” was needed, and he was “disappointed” the federal government had decided to source two navy supply ships from South Korea or Spain.


Mr Andrews told reporters on Monday that he joined the NSW and South Australian premiers in pleading with the federal government to keep shipbuilding jobs in Australia. The federal government last week dismissed reports that naval shipbuilding jobs were in jeopardy because of lack of work.


A BAE Systems spokeswoman said the shipbuilder had sought a meeting with new federal Defence Minister Kevin Andrews.
“Australian expertise in shipbuilding is among the best in the world and BAE Systems wants to partner with government to deliver the best outcomes in Australia’s national security interests,” she said.


“There are clearly pressures, and decisions are required in the short term. With the right strategy between government and the industry we believe we can manage an outcome that will not only retain much of our workforce but also strengthen shipbuilding capabilities.”

 

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