Deputy Speaker, I rise to support this motion.
A motion that is critical, Deputy Speaker to building Australia’s sovereign defence industry.
A motion inclusive of two essential commitments by the Morrison Government.
Keeping more Australians in jobs.
And backing small business in the defence industry.
These are the ingredients for building the strongest defence industry the country has ever seen.
Deputy Speaker, we are living in increasingly uncertain times, both at home and abroad.
Australia should and must prioritise its own interests.
And that is exactly, Deputy Speaker what the Morrison Government is doing.
We are investing $270 billion into strengthening Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities over the next decade.
Currently 15,000 businesses and 70,000 Australians are employed in our defence industry.
Deputy Speaker, this is tens of thousands of men and women serving our country admirably.
Tens of thousands protecting Australia’s national interest.
And these numbers will increase thanks to our $270 billion plan.
In a rapidly changing global environment we are ensuring the men and women of the Australian Defence Force have the critical capability they need to keep Australians safe and secure.
Deputy Speaker, the Morrison Government has already proven more than capable of getting on with the job when it comes to delivering for this industry.
I am interested to hear what the other side of the house has to say today, especially after their track record of sitting idle for six years.
Labor gutted $18 billion from the Defence Budget. $18 billion Deputy Speaker!
And Labor did not commission a single Australian built ship.
Imagine the thousands of lost jobs and on top of this, the lost opportunities for the defence industry.
Defence was a casualty to Labor Deputy Speaker.
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.
Australia must be an active and assertive advocate for stability, security and sovereignty in our immediate Pacific region.
When it comes to jobs Deputy Speaker, there is certainly no shortage thanks to the Morrison Government.
At least 15,000 new jobs in Australian Defence shipbuilding.
This is just the start, with a plan to build more ships, create more jobs and create more opportunities for small business.
And this will continue into the decades ahead under the Morrison Government.
For small business, the Morrison Government is giving them a key role in the defence supply chain.
The important work of our Defence Force can only succeed with the help of the thousands of Australians and Australian businesses working in our defence industries.
Why? Because small business is the backbone of our economy, and by backing small businesses we are investing in local jobs.
Jobs that are crucial in keeping Australians safe.
Deputy Speaker, this motion includes a five-pillar approach to enhancing support for small business.
These pillars represent an Australian Defence Industry first.
For the first time ever, it is this Government who is putting the policies in place to make it easier for local tradies and suppliers.
For the first time ever, we are easing the load for the regions to get involved in defence projects.
Deputy Speaker, in Queensland and the Northern Territory alone we have seen companies tender for defence infrastructure work using over 80 per cent of their workforce from the nearby local region.
It is more important than ever we are keeping Australians in work.
And Deputy Speaker, the Morrison Government is determined to see that Australia has the capacity to build at home what it needs to defend our nation.
More jobs and more opportunities for our skilled workers who so valiantly dedicate their careers to keeping peace in our region.
Deputy Speaker, my home state of Queensland is headed towards being Australia’s front line for defence industry.
Home to Townsville, which is Australia’s largest garrison city.
With this, I would like to ask how the Morrison Government is supporting Queensland to deliver this gold standard.
Can the Minister outline the Morrison Government’s ongoing commitment to strengthening Queensland’s defence industry?