Triple M, Chris Dittmar and Mark Ricciuto
27 April 2016
SUBJECT: Submarine fleet to be built in South Australia
Chris Dittmar: Roo, I’ve been saying this all morning quite seriously, I’ve never been so buoyant personally, this is the biggest thing in my lifetime in South Australia and I mean that with out exaggeration…
Mark Ricciuto: It’s huge money.
Chris Dittmar: Massive announcement and I think it does secure a lot of Futures. All we’ve heard about for decades is how our kids all shift to Sydney and Melbourne now to find jobs, I think we can put an end to that. We are now going to be a vibrant and buoyant state and I mean that.
Mark Ricciuto: You’ll reckon it’ll change the whole state?
Chris Dittmar: I can see it. The spin-offs with other industries are enormous. We’re focusing on the submarines. I think- what about everything else around it; real estate, people buying cars, houses, going to the pub, spending money in restaurants. This is what happens as a result of having confidence in your future. Want to find out more about it, Christopher Pyne joins us this morning. Christopher, welcome, thanks for your time.
Christopher Pyne: Pleasure Ditts, good to be with you.
Chris Dittmar: This has been labelled the biggest Defence announcement in our history. Is that accurate?
Christopher Pyne: Well it’s not only the biggest Defence contract award in Australia’s history, it’s the biggest in the world right now.
Chris Dittmar: Wow.
Christopher Pyne: Biggest contract in the world right now will be built in Adelaide. So no more looking down at the mouth about the future of our state. The truth is this is the biggest Defence contract in the world that currently exists and we won it.
Mark Ricciuto: I heard Jay Weatherill saying that this can reconfigure our economy if you like or change the way our economy works. Is that accurate, can it have that big an influence on the state?
Christopher Pyne: Well Roo the second-round effects of this kind of spend and this kind of contract are immense. I mean Ditts said so in the introduction. The truth is there’s 2800 jobs- direct jobs, 1100 in the construction, 1700 in the ongoing maintenance. That’s almost 3000 families with high incomes because they’re the high-tech advanced manufacturing jobs. So South Australia is the centre of the Defence industry for Australia and this goes hand in hand with the Future Frigates, the Offshore Patrol Vessels, there’s $90 billion which means for decades these submarines and ships will still be in use when I’m long gone but our children and grandchildren will still be feeling the effects of them.
Mark Ricciuto: Brilliant news. What about Arrium, I’m hearing that we’re going to use quite a bit of steel out of there. Is that accurate?
Christopher Pyne: Yes well these are Australian jobs and Australian build and Australian steel as the Prime Minister made it clear. Arrium wins in two ways. One there’s got to be significant construction at Osborne because they’re going to have to increase the size of Osborne to take these subs and the Future frigates of course, so there’ll be lots of construction steel in the short term so they have an immediate impact and of course Arrium makes construction steel and we’ve said that we want to use Australian steel so the big hint to Arrium and to BlueScope at Port Kembla is start thinking about how to design the kind of steel we need for the submarines. We’re already using them for the Air Warfare Destroyers and we used it for the Anzac frigates, we can use it for the Offshore Patrol Vessels, the Future Frigates and of course the subs, but they’ll be a special kind of steel, but they’ve got many years to work out how to make it so that we can use it and create jobs for South Australia.
Chris Dittmar: Good stuff. Christopher, why the French, why did they beat the Germans and the Japanese?
Christopher Pyne: Well the Department of Defence made very clear recommendations. They didn’t say that all three are the same and you can choose. They said the French were the superior bid because it met our unique operational requirements. Because we have to go everywhere from the Indian Ocean to the Western Pacific. That means different temperature water to start with. We have to be able to be- to dive very deep and the French build the same kind of size that we want, 5000 tonnes, and I think that had a big impact.
Mark Ricciuto: Do the French barrack(*) for the Adelaide Crows or Port Adelaide Christopher because I smell a sponsorship coming on.
Christopher Pyne: I have a nasty feeling that DCNS might have been supporting Port Power unfortunately…
Christopher Pyne: We’ll have to get onto them. We will have to get onto them. I could be wrong.
Mark Ricciuto: [Indistinct] all the jobs are down there…
Chris Dittmar: On the front of every submarine I can see one of those Vs with a teal, white and black, it’ll just look fantastic.
Christopher Pyne: Well if that’s true, but I’d better check that, I could be maligning the bid but they are.
Chris Dittmar: Maligning [laughs]…
Christopher Pyne: They’re backing the wrong team if they’re backing Port Adelaide.
Mark Ricciuto: Can you do a bit of work for us there Christopher…
Christopher Pyne: Don’t worry. We’ll have a quiet word with them on the side.
Chris Dittmar: Now Christopher for those of us that don’t understand the ins and outs of politics, so we did have a phone call earlier this morning. If- and I know you don’t wish this, but if you were unsuccessful at the election – let’s say the other mob were to get in and Labor take over, this wouldn’t be in jeopardy at all would it?
Christopher Pyne: Well no because it’s- thecompetitive evaluation process has been completed and France is the winner. The DCNS is the winner. So it’s an irrevocable process and that’s why it’s very exciting. Now they have to work out the fine details of the contracts which is a lawyer’s job and the public servants and the company to work out, but yes this is a decision that’s been made by the Government before we go into caretaker mode and quite frankly Labor would never- well I’d be very surprised if Labor considered taking it away. If they did I think they’d never win another seat in this state again.
Mark Ricciuto: They wanted to do it anyway didn’t they?
Christopher Pyne: Well they made no decisions in six years. We made more decisions about naval shipbuilding in six weeks than they made in six years.
Mark Ricciuto: Well done Christopher. Now get them to sponsor the Crows and we’ll all be happy.
Christopher Pyne: Righto [laughs]. I can see what you’re focused on Roo. You’re thinking it’s $50 billion to spend…
Mark Ricciuto: Just give us…
Christopher Pyne: …to secure the future of the Adelaide Crows.
Chris Dittmar: How much is in your salary cap [indistinct]…
Mark Ricciuto: A million a year. Just whack that on the table.
Chris Dittmar: Christopher Pyne, thanks so much for joining us.
Christopher Pyne: It’s a great pleasure. Thank you.
Chris Dittmar: As I said Roo I just feel fantastic about this. This is brilliant in every way.
Mark Ricciuto: Well, it’s a win- win for us isn’t it.
Chris Dittmar: Yeah.