Thousands of defence industry jobs are at risk and a 30-year shipbuilding strategy is needed, according to the Australian Made Defence campaign.
Last week it was reported that BAE Systems would not participate in a tender process for 21 new Pacific patrol boats, worth $600 million. 1,100 jobs at its Williamstown shipyard are now at risk.
There are no projects scheduled after 2016 in Victoria, with 58 Victorian companies in BAE’s shipbuilding supply chain.
"The future hasn't been clear for years, as a result the Australian shipbuilding industry is being forced to lay off workers in the absence of a clear direction from government,” Chris Burns, CEO of Defence Teaming Australia, told Fairfax.
“If the government don't act now we won't be able to build ships and submarines here anymore and we will be sending tens of billions of dollars overseas."
AMD, which launched in April this year, is focussing on shipbuilding and submarine work, and is an initiative launched by the Defence Teaming Centre in April.
Image: AAP/Julian Smith