The following speech was delivered by Andrew Hastie MP to the House of Representatives on 25 February 2020.
Australia may be one of the wealthiest, resource-rich countries in the world, but our manufacturing base is under great pressure, and the demise of Holden and our car industry is of great concern.
As history shows us, it is vital that we have a vibrant manufacturing base both in peace and in times of war.
We must also remember this enduring reality: we are a country before we are an economy. We have a duty to preserve assets, industries and infrastructure essential to our flourishing together.
This is why the preservation of our sovereignty is so important, and I'm pleased by the efforts of the Morrison government to build a strong and sustainable Australian defence industry. This government's expansion of our defence capability is designed to maximise the involvement of Australian businesses. In doing so, we are creating new jobs that will grow Australia's skills base in strategic industries.
I am pleased to visit small and medium businesses that are leading by maximising Australian manufacturing in their operations and supply chain. Last week I visited WOMA, who are an original equipment manufacturer of industrial high-pressure and vacuum pumps.
Ian Blevin, the business owner, a Canning local and an ex-captain in the British Gurkhas, explained how he had resisted the trend to manufacture overseas. Instead, WOMA manufacture locally, and Ian has built a dedicated team and is proud to be investing in Australian young people through his apprentices.
We need more strategic thinkers in business like Ian who are prepared to make tough decisions in the national interest and build up our strategic industries.