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Former minister 'backpaddles' on shipyard

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September 16, 2017

Former minister David Johnston wants Defence to bid for work in the Future Frigates Program.

A former defence minister has 'backpaddled' from remarks he made in office that he wouldn't trust Australia's largest defence shipbuilder organisation to "build a canoe".

David Johnston made the comments about Adelaide's government shipyard ASC in 2014 but is now calling for its participation, along with its West Australian equivalent, Austal, in the $35 billion Future Frigates Program.

"We have a world-class shipbuilder in Austal, teaming with ASC who has come out of the doldrums - it had a lot of problems when I was the minister, a lot of problems, and now it's doing world-class work," Mr Johnston told the ABC on Saturday.

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