MEMBER for Murray Damian Drum and the Federal Government have betrayed thousands of Victorian workers and hundreds of local companies, according to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp.
The Federal Government recently announced Rheinmetall as the preferred bidder for the $5 billion LAND 400 contract to build Australia’s next-generation military vehicles.
Rheinmetall will manufacture its vehicles in Queensland, meaning Victoria missed out on the contract that is expected to deliver $1 billion in economic activity and more than 2000 jobs.
Mr Gepp said it was disappointing Victorians had been passed over for the contract
“We are the home of manufacturing in Australia and have the skills, knowledge and expertise to deliver the best military vehicles for our defence force,” he said.
“But Damian Drum and Malcolm Turnbull have betrayed Victorians yet again.”
But Mr Drum said the attempt by the Labor Party to portray the deal as a negative was “laughable”.
“I think it’s a very cheap political stunt by the Andrews Government. It’s pathetic and grubby politics,” he said.
“What we have here is the Federal Government investing $5 billion to ensure our troops have the best equipment.
“Two companies went for the contract and an expert panel from the Department of Defence decided Rheinmetall came out on top.
“One state was always going to be disappointed. This isn’t a case of winners and losers, it’s about making the best decision based on the requirements of our troops.”