Media Releases

Naval Group workers on the scrap heap?

September 16, 2021

The good, the bad and the ugly of submarine announcement

This morning’s surprise announcement of the scrapping of the Attack Class Submarine project with Naval Group has left more questions than answers for South Aussie workers and businesses.

South Australians have spent five years welcoming Naval Group into our state and South Aussie businesses have been springing up around them to support the construction of the Attack Class submarine.

Now the future of workers and businesses in SA have been thrown up in the air by the Prime Minister’s announcement that Australia would go back to the drawing board and start a new process to build nuclear powered submarines in collaboration with the United States and the United Kingdom.

Some immediate good news has come forward for workers at ASC, who have faced years of threats of their Collins Class maintenance jobs being sent to WA.

Quotes attributed to SA Unions Secretary Dale Beasley:

“Thousands of workers’ futures are now up in the air and what they really need from the Prime Minister and Premier Steven Marshall is some understanding of what their futures hold.

“Workers employed by Naval Group, including close to 100 who have made the life changing move to be seconded to France with their families, have no certainty from either state or federal government."

“There is of course welcome news for the hundreds of ASC workers who can now rest assured that their Collins Class maintenance jobs will stay in SA. That’s testament to the effort put in by those workers to make the case for the superiority of their skills and expertise here in SA."

“But that's cold comfort to the workers at Naval Group. Engineers, scientists, IT professionals, trades and clerical workers have moved to SA for these jobs, and some have even moved with their families to France for these jobs with Naval Group. What comes next for them?"

“We’ve also got no certainty that the future nuclear submarines will deliver anything near the levels of local job creation, local industry stimulation and sovereign capability that the Naval Group build would. Australia currently has no capability to maintain nuclear powered subs, and we suspect that that maintenance work will need to be done offshore in the US or UK."

All media enquiries: Dale Beasley – 8279 2222