The future of Australia’s shipbuilding industry is in doubt after the government’s decision to scrap the entire $100bn shipbuilding program.
The government announced last month it would abandon the program and instead focus on the National Shipbuilding Strategy, a plan to modernise the country’s ships and ensure they have the capability to handle the latest technologies.
But the decision was widely condemned by the shipbuilding community and was greeted with outrage by some in the industry.
It has been estimated the loss of the shipyards will cost $2.5 billion a year and create around 150,000 jobs.
A $2 billion shipyard in Sydney’s North Shore, for example, could have provided an investment of $20 million per ship, the Royal Australian Navy said in a statement.
“But the Government has now cancelled shipbuilding programs, with a clear intent to dismantle them,” the navy said.
Australia’s shipyards have been the focus of a major lobbying campaign from the business community in recent years, in an effort to get the program scrapped.
Key points: The Australian shipbuilding workforce has been decimated since the first of the program’s three vessels left the yard in 2006, resulting in a shortage of engineers and engineers skills