Visit to Germany, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom
Media Release – Tuesday 21 April 2015
This week Australians around the world remember a hundred years since the Gallipoli landings.
As part of the Anzac commemorations, I will represent the Australian Government in France at the dawn service in Villers‑Brettoneux and the town service in Bullecourt. I will also be present at the Menin Gate service in Belgium.
Villers‑Brettoneux and Bullecourt were the sites of major battles during World War One, and is the resting place of many Australians, New Zealanders and other Allied nations.
The Centenary of Anzac is the most important period of commemoration in our nation’s history. Over these four years, the focus will change from the shores of Gallipoli to the Western Front.
During my visit, I will meet with my French and German counterparts and industry leaders to discuss their involvement in the competitive evaluation process for Australia’s future submarine programme, emphasising the need to maximise Australian industry involvement.
As the government announced on 20 February this year both French and German industries have been invited by the Australian Government to participate in the competitive evaluation process for the future submarine programme.
For Australian industry to have the best opportunity to maximise their involvement in the future submarine programme they need to work with an international partner.
The future submarine programme is the largest Defence procurement programme in Australia’s history and represents a $50 billion investment in Australia’s safety and security. It is vital that we get this program right so our Navy has the right capability to support them.
My visit to the United Kingdom is a timely opportunity to discuss strategic requirements as both countries prepare to deliver defence policy papers later this year – the Australian Defence White Paper and the United Kingdom Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Australia and the United Kingdom continue to share an interest in addressing threats to a peaceful, prosperous and rules-based global order, including terrorism and violent extremism at home.
Australia and the United Kingdom have an enduring strategic partnership and are committed to working together to promote our shared agenda of enhancing security and prosperity in an increasingly challenging global environment.