Pyne refuses to put figure on WA shipbuilding share during visit

New defence industry minister Christopher Pyne visited shipyards at Western Australia yesterday, dismissing suggestions he was focussed on winning shipbuilding work from the state for his home state of South Australia.

The West Australian reports that Pyne visited shipyards in Henderson yesterday, his first move in the new role used to reassure the state of its future as a centre for naval construction.

“I am the minister for defence industry for the whole nation,” said Pyne during the tour.

According to the Labor state defence spokesman for WA, the state will only gain 0.55 per cent share of the $90 billion in shipbuilding work announced in April.

The ABC reports that the build the first of 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels will begin at Osborne in 2018 before Henderson takes over in 2020, the same time Osborne will begin building the Future Frigates.

Pyne repeatedly refused to quantify how much work would be completed in WA.

“I haven’t broken down the percentages … I’m not going to break it down for you, you can do that,” he told reporters.

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