There was “no guarantee” that ASC would win work on the $5 billion Offshore Patrol Vessels contract, meaning there was the risk of 1,300 shipbuilding jobs being lost by 2019.
The ABC reports that ASC chief executive Mark Lamarre told senate estimates that there was no certainty work for the new vessels would be centred at the ASC. There was a plan to do this announced by ex-prime minister Tony Abbott last August.
The current workforce of 1,400 would be reduced to around 100 without the new work, said Lamarre.
"My understanding is we're going through a competitive evaluation process and there are no guarantees in this process," the ABC reports Lamarre as saying.
"That there are a number of things that will be considered among the various competitors and players in the market."
The minister responsible for ASC, Matthias Cormann, blamed the former Labor government’s inaction for the potential job losses.
“We are now working as fast as we can, bringing forward the Future Frigates and OPVs … we wouldn’t be facing the types of things ASC is facing in terms of its workflow if the previous government had made timely decisions,” The Advertiser quotes him as saying.