ALP: Forgacs job losses an ‘avoidable tragedy’, photos


杭州桑拿网

ALP: Forgacs job losses an ‘avoidable tragedy’, photos Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence David Feeney with Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon at Forgacs on Wednesday. Pic: Phil Hearne

Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence David Feeney with Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon at Forgacs on Wednesday. Pic: Phil Hearne

Workers enter the Tomago Forgacs site on Wednesday. Pic: Phil Hearne

Workers enter the Tomago Forgacs site on Wednesday. Pic: Phil Hearne

Workers enter the Tomago Forgacs site on Wednesday. Pic: Phil Hearne

Workers enter the Tomago Forgacs site on Wednesday. Pic: Phil Hearne

TweetFacebookTHE 100 jobs set to be shed from Forgacs in the Hunter by the end of the week was an “avoidable tragedy,” Shadow Assistant Minister of Defence David Feeney said on Wednesday.

At the end of June, Forgacs -which is building hull modules for threeair warfare destroyers being assembled in South Australia – confirmed plans for about 100 redundancies from its Tomago and Carrington shipyards, which will be finalised this week.

Visiting the company’s Tomago shipyard on Wednesday, Mr Feeney said he was extremely disappointed in the recent government decision to turn to Spain or South Korea to build replacement navy refuelling ships.

Last month the Abbott government announced the tender process for the urgently needed replacements of replenishment vessels HMAS Success and HMAS Sirius.

However Australian shipbuilders would not be able to bid, with the ships to be built in either Spain or South Korea.

“By the end of next week there will be some 650 rather than 750 working here at Forgacs,” Mr Feeney said.

“What we’ve got here is a failure of public policy.

“There is a shipbuilding program in this country that has been set out now for many years by successive governments.

“With the Abbott government’s decision to build ships overseas, and without providing any certainty into the future or sustainability of existing shipbuilding, we now have what’s called the valley of death.

“We went to the last election with a plan to bridge the valley of death in our shipbuilding industry by having those two navy logistic ships built in Australia.”

Mr Feeney said the Australian Air Warfare Destroyer project –an $8 billion initiative launched in 2007 to build three advanced warships in Australia at shipyards in Newcastle, Adelaide and Melbourne – showed that improved efficiency could be achieved through investment.

“As was anticipated when the work was originally awarded to these shipyards, we now see these shipyards operating twice as efficiently in the construction of the third destroyer as they were with the first,” he said.

“These shipyards do have the capability to build those navy logistic ships.”

Defence Minister Senator David Johnston said that Labor had three years to announce a tender for the Navy’s ageing replenishment ships.

“They did nothing except sit on their hands,” he said.

“As it stands, the earliest the first ship can be delivered will be 2020 hence the need for a competitive tender between Navantia in Spain and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering in South Korea who both have solutions based on proven and existing designs.

“Yes, there was a consideration by this government for Australian shipyards to build the new replenishment ships.

“However, Navy is suffering a real and present capability gap and we need to replace HMAS Success and Sirius right now.

“Unfortunately, an Australian-build option would not be cost effective, would be unable to meet an urgent schedule or deliver the requisite value for money for our taxpayers.”

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