AMWU Challenges Clive Palmer – Australia Can Build Ships Too


Mining magnate, Clive Palmer has come under scrutiny for saying the main reason he was building ships in China was because “Australia in particular lacks a maritime industry”.

A complete contrast to the highly developed maritime manufacturing facilities around Australia. “Clive is wrong,” said AMWU State Secretary Tim Ayres. “Australia has a highly skilled, innovative, thriving shipbuilding industry.”

The AMWU has extended an invite to take mining billionaire Clive Palmer on a tour of local shipbuilding facilities after he said he was forced to build the ships in China because shipbuilding didn’t happen in Australia.


In the youtube video, workers respond to Palmer’s remarks, with one worker joking “we must be imagining ourselves at work today…”

Nominated as a priority industry capability by the Commonwealth Government, in order to protect Australia’s defence interests, AMWU states “thousands of highly skilled AMWU members build ships in major shipbuilding facilities around Australia.”

“Here in NSW, we build everything from ferries to air warfare destroyers. Take Newcastle, where Forgacs employs over 500 skilled tradespeople and more 50 apprentices in shipbuilding. There’s also ship manufacturing based at Garden Island and in Balmain.”

The invite by AMWU, encourages Clive Palmer to see the facilities first hand, showing him the cutting edge skills, and more importantly the quality of work that Australian manufacturers can offer.

“If Mr Palmer wants to build ships in China he should be honest about the reasons, it’s not because Australia doesn’t have a maritime industry.”

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