The Government is extremely disappointed that a consortium of private Tasmanian and international businesses has been unsuccessful in its bid to win the Pacific Patrol Boats tender.
We have been advised that the Tasmanian consortium was one of three bids excluded from the process and that there are now two bidders left competing for the tender.
The Tasmanian Government did everything it could to support this bid. We understand what this tender would have meant to the businesses involved and the Tasmanian economy more broadly, however, it was a very tough and very competitive field.
This bid united Tasmania’s private sector capacity for the first time. It involved businesses from right around the State and I think Tasmanians can be very proud of the submission that was made. This united front was an exceptional outcome in itself and the Government is determined to seize on that momentum.
While Tasmania was unsuccessful this time, the Government is committed to working with the private sector to bid for other defence force contracts in the future.
Tasmania currently receives less than a per capita share of the national defence spend and we are determined to increase that so that we get our fair share.
The Tasmanian bid was of a very high quality and while ultimately the decision was one for the Federal Government, there is no doubt that like most defence procurement, politics did play a part.
This is why I would encourage all Tasmanian politicians and leaders, regardless of their political affiliation, to join with us in this effort going forward, rather than trying to play politics with this outcome.
This is not the time to give up, this is the time to redouble our efforts and to make sure that any future bids from the Tasmanian private sector build on the lessons learned.
To that end, the Government is developing a defence force strategy that will provide a clear path to achieving a greater share of defence force spending, which will be released very soon.
Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth