Thursday, 3 November 2011
Bass Electorate: Defence Science and Technology Organisation Facilities
I rise today to welcome the parliamentary approval of the $18.7 million upgrade of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation facilities in Scottsdale, in my electorate of Bass. This project will deliver modern, functional food science research facilities for the DSTO personnel and a new culture lab. This facility researches and manufactures freeze-dried components used in the Australian Defence Force patrol ration packs. It has been producing these components since the early seventies. In fact, Scottsdale is the only facility in Australia both producing food and undertaking research into the nutritional value of ration packs and rationing systems used by the Australian Defence Force.
This is great news for the people of north-east Tasmania. This approval shows Defence's commitment to remain in our local community, delivering jobs and providing a valuable boost for our economy. This decision puts to bed once and for all the misinformation and scaremongering that past Senator Guy Barnett spread within this community. He achieved nothing for the DSTO; in 10 years of Liberal government, not one piece of action. This community deserves the clarity that this commitment provides, not cheap political stunts that cause unnecessary concern within these communities. I would encourage local contractors to apply within the tendering process to maximise the benefit for our local community.
I again thank all of those involved in the parliamentary committee that visited Scottsdale in north-eastern Tasmania for the great work that they did and for bringing the community together to emphasise the importance of the DSTO centre in Scottsdale. This is an $18.7 million boost for the north-east of Tasmania in difficult economic times, with downturn in the forestry sector and in vegetable production and manufacture in this area. I thank the DSTO people for the great work they put into the recent review. I thank the Australian Labor government for committing to the people of the north-east of Tasmania.