Parliamentary Speech: Missing Defence Industry Minister



House of Representatives on Monday 13 November 2023.

Check against delivery 

The Indo Pacific 2023 International Maritime Exposition was held in Sydney last week, the biggest defence industry gathering in the southern hemisphere.

Despite an abundance of cutting-edge intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance providers, no-one could find the Labor Defence Industry Minister.

He managed to evade every radar, every sonar and every eyeball present at the conference.

The Minister even evaded detection at a packed-out defence industry gathering, and was declared missing in action until he turned on his social media beacon in the Cook Islands.

Search and rescue was stood down, and we were relieved to find him festooned with flowers and hanging with the Prime Minister.

Sure, he's also the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, but that doesn't mean he can be a part-time Defence Industry Minister.

The question remains: where is the Minister? Does he care about Australia's industrial base? Does he care about the hardworking small and medium businesses innovating to protect our country?

The message from the exposition floor was clear and consistent, and that was that the Albanese government has failed Australian defence industry.

We are still waiting for Labor's response to the surface fleet review, which has resulted in delays and uncertainty.

The Labor government has to resolve a paradox at the heart of their defence policy.

They keep saying that Australia is facing the most dangerous circumstances since the end of the Second World War, yet they're doing nothing about it.

The good news is that the Coalition is committed to a strong ADF and a strong industrial base.

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