Australian International Airshow
MR RICH-PHILLIPS (South Eastern Metropolitan) — Last week Victoria played host to the 2017 Australian International Airshow and defence exposition. The show was a great success, with the Australian debut of the US Air Force F-22 Raptor and the new RAAF F-35 joint strike fighter. Preliminary estimates point to record attendances, and I congratulate the air show foundation; its chief executive, Ian Honnery; and Avalon Airport chief executive, Justin Giddings, on such an outstanding event.
Ms Pennicuik's call yesterday for the defence elements of the show to be dropped and Victorian government support withdrawn shows how out of touch the Greens are. As aviation minister in the last government I was delighted to announce that the coalition had secured five additional air shows to 2025. The defence industry is an important part of the Victorian economy, with companies like Marand, Ruag and Boeing Australia. Production of the joint strike fighter is a major opportunity for Victorian companies and will create 5000 supply chain jobs Australia-wide. This is something to celebrate at an event like the Avalon air show and defence exposition.
The show is now one of the world's leading aviation events, attracting vendors, defence representatives and chiefs of air force from around the world and showcasing Australian defence and aerospace technology. This is something to be celebrated and not derided, as the Greens in their fantasy cocoons would have us believe.