Sloppy lobbying by the Andrews Government has failed Victoria and Geelong and resulted in the $5 billion Land 400 defence contract heading north to Queensland.
Liberal Member for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay, had raised his concerns about the slovenly engagement several times in the Victorian Parliament.
“From the start, the Andrews Government fiddled and diddled and ultimately muddled this major opportunity for Victorian jobs and manufacturing.
“First it was slow to establish the Defence Procurement Office based at Deakin Geelong. Then it decelerated things further with a change of lead staff within the very early days.
“Then it dawdled its way to Canberra to raise the Victorian flag.
“It went from no messages to mixed-messages – raising Geelong’s hopes, then ultimately ditching the manufacturing prowess here in favour of the Fishermen’s Bend opportunity”.
“The Victorian Minister for Trade and Investment, Philip Dalidakis, has much to answer given he failed to realise this opportunity for this state. Victoria was out-lobbied,” Mr Ramsay said.
Mr Ramsay has also expressed disappointment with the Federal Government.
“There is no other way of saying it. This is a very disappointing decision.
“Despite the high expectations of a Victorian success, it would appear the politics at the National Security Cabinet won the day.
“The jobs and investment that have just passed-by Geelong will be hard to find elsewhere anytime soon.
“However, this hole now opens up an opportunity for the Turnbull Government – if it won’t give Geelong this break – what will it do?
“I hope this signals that the Federal Government has something else in mind for this region.
“The next time the Federal Defence Minister, Christopher Pyne is in Geelong, he will need to deliver.
“Minister Pyne will need to come with good news.”