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Transcript 16294

Prime Minister Remarks at visit to Chemring Australia Greater Geelong

Photo of Rudd, Kevin

Rudd, Kevin

Period of Service: 03/12/2007 to 24/06/2010

More information about Rudd, Kevin on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 07/12/2008

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 16294

Today is a story about defence, it is a story about industry, it is a story about jobs and it is a story about Geelong. And let me say a few things about each of those.

This is an important part of Australia's defence architecture.

If you look at these aircraft here, the Royal Australian Air Force in doing its job relies upon air decoys to be protected. And each time I have flown into Iraq and flown into Afghanistan I have been fully briefed on the importance of these particular devices.

This is making our air force safer to do its job when called upon to do its job. And I congratulate those who have added their professional expertise here to making that job easier for Australia because without an effective national defence, ultimately, our security and as a consequence, everything else is compromised.

Industry, you know something? This Government believes in industry policy. We make no apology for that. We believe in being partners with industry, and where we can, putting our shoulder to the wheel with industry to make their job a bit easier.

And through this allocation from the Geelong investment and innovation fund, to make it possible for Chemring to grow its business. Grow its business not just now but into the future as well, because we believe in businesses like this, businesses which have shown a long track record of commitment to Australia. 100 years is quite a long time between drinks, in terms of when you have started and when you are still going.

So we think they are reasonably reliable partners. But this is important for us to be partners, partners with industry not just here but as the Industry Minister said just before, with the automotive industry, the automotive supplies industry, the fact that we and the Victorian Government can work together to assist companies like Ford and turn critical decisions around.

The Government is proud of its $6.2 billion car plan for the future. It is part of our co-investment with industry into the future.

There's a lot of gloom and doom out there, a lot of problems in the global economy at present. And if we all got paid a dollar for every time we turn over the page of a newspaper to find another negative story about something happening somewhere else in the world, then we would all earn a lot of money.

But guess what, that doesn't get you anywhere. What gets you somewhere is actually sitting down with business and working something through and that is what we have done at a very practical level here, with this very good business.

Which brings me to jobs. It is not just supporting defence, not just supporting industry, it is making sure that we can also generate jobs. I was with the Victorian Premier yesterday and we were launching a significant new $900 million Commonwealth investment in road projects here in greater Melbourne.

Very important for Melbourne, important for Victoria, but important for the nation. By virtue of that investment, we are investing in jobs. Some 5000 - 6000 in the construction phase and in terms of indirect jobs, another 5000 or 6000.

But you know it is not just the big projects like that, it is smaller ones because they all add up. They all make it count and so by virtue of our investment here into this business, important for defence and important for industry, we are also creating a capacity for Chemring to add another 40 staff.

So at a time when people have nothing but gloom and doom to talk about, our attitude is, well people can do that if they want, we are going to get on with the business of growing the nation, growing industry and growing jobs wherever we practically can and we are proud of being partners here.

Of course, in the future, it is entirely possible that with the JSF, the Joint Strike Fighter project, that Chemring as a consequence of this investment is capable then of lodging a successful bid for new work coming off the JSF.

JSF final decisions are a ways away yet but if that were to come off then the employment consequences again for this firm Chemring in providing air decoys for an entire new generation or part thereof of Australian fighter aircraft, would be significant indeed.

Each is a building step. Each is a building block along the way.

Which brings me to my last point, about Geelong. You know this is a community which has got I would say, intestines of steel. They have seen ups and downs over the years but always have come through, and come through with flying colours.

And you see that through the great strength and enduring strength of what we have seen in the automotive industry, despite the knocks, despite the hits, despite the whacks over time. And I have already said something about our commitment for that recently, through the agency of the Industry Minister, Kim Carr, and through the support we have received directly in partnership with the Government of Victoria.

But this is a great community. It is a great community because it believes in industry and it believes in picking itself up, working with Governments at all levels and looking at, how can we now secure the future again.

And that is what we are in the business of doing and that is why we are here to bring our cabinet to Geelong today.

So these are four very good stories. About our defence, about industry, about jobs and growing jobs. But also about supporting this great community which is a great part of Australia.

Transcript 16294