A decision was taken to make Adelaide the early construction site for 12 offshore patrol vessels (OPV) will save many jobs.
The Australian Defence Force has ordered building 33 new warships, thus saving workers in Perth and Adelaide from the so-called “valley of death.”
There was a prediction that unemployment at Adelaide defence builder ASC would reach 1,300. Now, because of the announcement made by Federal Government regarding OPV construction, around 500 jobs can be saved.
According to Colin Fenney from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), the loss was predicted due to the fall of Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD) works.
“I still think we’ll lose some jobs in the process but, one thing about it, we won’t lose as many as we expected,” he said. “We lost 110 jobs last week, both with the AWD and the submarine project.”
The relief came after Malcolm Turnbull announced today that his government would buy 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels. The construction would initiate in Adelaide when Air Warfare Destroyer construction concludes in 2018.
— Aus Defence Business (@DefenceBusiness) March 11, 2016
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According to Turnbull, building of the OPVs will move to Western Australia in 2020. Adelaide shipbuilders are scheduled to start creating the nine new frigates, during that time, says ABC News.
In Melbourne, the PM said that the construction of the vessels would most likely start in SA but then could move to Victoria. @AlannahMac
— Australian Labor (@AustralianLabor) August 11, 2015
However, a defence industry organisation claimed that there would still be job losses at ASC despite Turnbull’s promise.
“It doesn’t guarantee all the jobs, it is a bridge to the ‘valley of death’ (gap between defence projects) — there’s still not enough jobs in that from the OPVs to take up all the workforce out of ASC,” he said.
He also added that the benefit of making these decisions is that now they can along with planning the workforce and requirements of infrastructure.
Turnbull said the “continuous build program” was created to make sure that the Navy was perfectly equipped. He also said that the program was designed to deliver “certainty” to shipbuilders.
The OPV building contract is worth $3 billion and would be employing 400 workers, reports the The Australian.