Simon Birmingham: Thank you all for coming, and it’s a delight to be here at RAAF Base Edinburgh, this South Australian morning on this beautiful day for a very important announcement. A great announcement for South Australia in terms of investment and jobs. A very important announcement for our Defence Force in terms of ensuring its capability into the future and crucially, a very important announcement for our defence industry in terms of the jobs and capability that is being secured for the defence industries into the future. I’m joined this morning by Premier Steven Marshall, Air Commodore Ken Millar here at the RAAF Base Edinburgh. And today we are announcing that here, just off site of the Edinburgh base adjacent to it. The new 737 deep maintenance facility will be established in South Australia, adjacent to the RAAF Base Edinburgh. This facility is going to be capable of providing the deep maintenance support, the ongoing sustainment to the RAAF’s fleet of 737 based aircraft. Now this is a very important decision because it ensures that here at Edinburgh, in South Australia, in Australia for the first time, we will have all of the capabilities for deep maintenance of this type of aircraft. What we’re going to see is that the current fleet of 12 P8’s behind and around me here are going to be sustained here in Adelaide, and that’s a fleet growing to 14.
We’re going to also see that the current fleet of six wedge tails currently sustained at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland will in future be sustained at these new facilities here in Edinburgh in South Australia. This is possible because of the combined effort of the South Australian government working with Boeing and defence to ensure that we have the capabilities and the facilities for this to occur. I pay particular credit to Premier Marshall and his government for the investment of $160 million to provide for the land and the facilities in which the sustainment activities will occur. This is the type of focussed leadership that makes defence jobs happen, that makes defence industry grow and provides the essential capability that our Air Force, our Navy and our army need in the protection of Australia.
We’ve seen in recent years just how much more contested our region has become, and with that, just how much more important investment in our Defence Force and national security is. Our government made a commitment before the 2013 election to increase the investment in Australia’s defence activities to at least two per cent of national GDP. We did that coming to office when investment in defence had slumped to its lowest levels since 1938.
This reinvestment has enabled us to create thousands of additional jobs, but crucially, to ensure our military, our defences are better placed to better protect Australia into the future. And decisions like the one being announced today are a demonstration of the fact that this is not a short term undertaking. It’s one that lasts for decades and the jobs last for decades, too. And that’s what’s going to help ensure that we are able to maintain the most sophisticated equipment for our air force, for our navy, for our army, and we’re able to sustain and maintain that in ways that keep them flying, sailing and operating at the tempos that we need as a nation to keep us safe and secure. I’ll let the Premier say a few words in a second about South Australia’s investment in this project, but I do want to pay credit to him for his tireless advocacy, not just in a parochial way for South Australia, but his tireless advocacy for the ability of South Australia and the capability that South Australia is best placed to deliver these projects. The arguments that Premier Marshall and his government have put forward year after year over the last four years have been a clear demonstration of South Australia’s ability and South Australia’s capability to deliver in the national interest.
That’s what’s ensured SA has won and secured work in that time. The decisions to have the life of type extension of Collins class take place in South Australia. To have the Air Warfare Destroyer and the Hobart class upgrade take place in South Australia. To build the new nuclear powered submarines in South Australia to do all of that, while the new Hunter class frigates are being built in South Australia. Following the initial building of the offshore patrol vessels here in South Australia, these investments here at RAAF Base Edinburgh, further demonstration of the fact that SA puts its best foot forward, but does so with sound, credible arguments and demonstration of the facts about the national interest, and especially today, a demonstration of investment yielding results. SA putting up the land, the investment in the facility that will be leased back to provide for the maintenance of these aircraft. This is about clever thinking, practical thinking, delivering real jobs and real results. Premier over to you when the Premier is finished speaking, we’ll hear immediately from Air Commodore Millar about this project and then the Premier and I will, of course, be happy to take questions.
Steven Marshall: Well, thank you very much, Simon. It’s fantastic news for South Australia. Up, up and away with hundreds of new jobs here at Edinburgh, in the defence sector such an important sector for our state. You know, it wasn’t that long ago that Edinburgh was slated to be closed. It’s now one of two super bases in the entire country. It’s absolutely integral to our national security. It does the backbone of our work in terms of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, electronic warfare systems, integration and now, of course, is fantastic news that the RAAF has actually selected Adelaide, South Australia to be doing all of the deep maintenance and modification work on the 737 fleet. Our Poseidon’s, Wedgetails and this will last for decades and decades to come. This will create fantastic new jobs, 200 jobs in construction and over 120 ongoing jobs for South Australia. And these are high skilled jobs. These are jobs that are going to keep our young South Australians here in our state not moving interstate or overseas to get these fantastic, challenging jobs. I want to commend the federal government for this decision. We lobbied hard for this. We were up against some stiff competition when the coalition was returned to power back in 2013 they made two very important strategic decisions for our nation. One was to increase defence spend back to two per cent and unwind the mess that Labor had created by winding down our defence spending to the lowest level since 1938.
The second very important decision they made was to recognise the defence industry as a strategic defence capability for our nation. And the reality is South Australia has been the beneficiary of these two important decisions increased spending and a focus on developing sovereign capability here in country. We are undisputedly now the defence capital of Australia. A lot of people, of course, look at the maritime programs and we’ve been very successful, of course, with the three destroyers, the two offshore patrol vessels underway at the moment. Our new fleet, the Hunter fleet of frigates, which has started its construction. Then of course, we move straight over to the 12 nuclear-powered submarines, which are in the final planning stages over the next 14 months. In addition to that, when the AUKUS announcement was made, we were very delighted in South Australia and confounded our political opponents who said we’d lost the deal to Western Australia. But the Prime Minister very happily announced that we would keep full cycle docking in South Australia. But more than that, we will get the life of type extension of the Collins class we’ll take that particular platform into service right through to 2048 and of course, the Hobart class upgrade. These are just thousands and thousands of jobs in South Australia today, tomorrow and for decades to come. Today’s another important example and chapter of this unfolding story of defence jobs in South Australia, with another 200 construction jobs, 120 ongoing jobs in South Australia for the seven three seven deep maintenance facility.
Now, the way that we’ve done this is for Renewal SA, an agency of the South Australian government, to purchase land adjacent to Edinburgh, pull into the precinct and enter into an agreement to construct and then lease back this fantastic state of the art facility. We’ve made a $160 million investment, but of course that will come back to us. It’s all done on a completely commercial basis. What we’re delighted about is the jobs for South Australia, 120 ongoing jobs. And of course, that’s going to continue to build as we continue to upgrade our incredible capability in terms of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. I think a lot of people are very sad when we bid farewell to the Orions. But now to have the Poseidon’s based here is absolutely fantastic and I really want to recognise the Royal Australian Air Force celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, and it’s great to have Air Commodore Ken Millar born in South Australia. He looks after the air domain strategic advice to the capability, acquisition and sustainment group for Australia, so I’m going to pass over to Air Commodore Millar now and then I’ll come back to answer any questions that you might have.
Air Commodore Ken Millar: Thank you, Premiere. Thank you, Minister. I’d also like to thank Boeing, our industry partners, supporting the PA and the work that renewal say in defence, they say, have done to bring the project to the state that it is today. Aircraft deep maintenance is a recognised sovereign industrial capability priority for government and for defence. It’s one of a small number of highly valuable requirements that government and defence think. We need a strong industrial capability within this country to protect our sovereign interests and our defence capability. It’s very difficult and inefficient and risky to defence capability to fly aircraft like this overseas for deep maintenance. So we took an action out of the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Program to look at 737 deep maintenance requirements for Air Force. We analysed our options across a range of sites and bases, and we took to the Air Force Capability Committee, the Air Force Board, Minister for Defence, that Edinburgh, as the home of the largest 737 fleet, is the logical site for the creation of a state of the art deep maintenance facility that will serve our fleets now and well into the future. Thank you very much.
Journalist: Sorry, the Air Force leases the facility from the state government?
Air Commodore Ken Millar: The intention is that we will lease the facility from the government, so we’ve got to. When we decided that this was the best location for it, we had options to build it on base. We had options to build it on land adjacent to the base, and we got an excellent proposal from the South Australian state government for them to build a facility and lease it to us. And we looked at that and for a whole bunch of reasons. It just stacks up as a really good business case for defence.
Journalist: And currently these plans are going to the United States to get maintenance. Is that right?
Air Commodore Ken Millar: They’re all quite new. The maintenance contract with Boeing for deep maintenance has only just been signed. The first aircraft is inducted into deep maintenance the middle of this year, and it will go into one of those 1970s hangars that you see over there. Unfortunately, the aircraft doesn’t fit in those hangars, and the tail is going to hang out the back and we have to enclose that. There’s also not enough of them, so we do need state of the art facilities long term.
Journalist: Is your government going to continue attacks on Anthony Albanese over security and defence, despite warnings of politicisation of this issue?
Simon Birmingham: Look, I just make a couple of simple facts in that regard. Now national security is always a feature in many election campaigns, and it is one of the important matters upon which Australians will make their decision. Now I’m conscious that I’m standing here at a defence facility today, and first and foremost, I pay tribute to those who serve our nation and those who put themselves potentially in harm’s way in the defence of our nation. Track records matter, though, and the track record of Labor, as I said in my introductory remarks, was to see defence spending in Australia reach its lowest levels as a share of our national economy since 1938.
Our government had the foresight back in 2013 to make the commitment that we would restore defence expenditure to more than two per cent of GDP. We’ve not only achieved that, we’ve exceeded that promise and commitment. Now that is a stark contrast and a stark track record difference between the Labor Party and the Liberal and National parties. And that decision was made back in 2013. We would not be able as a nation to afford the types of defence investments and decisions that we’ve made in the last year, in particular the decisions to build the nuclear powered submarines. If we had not made those decisions back in 2013, Australia would be worse placed as a nation in terms of responding to the strategic challenges in our region and the challenges around the world if we had not made and delivered on those promises and decisions back in 2013. So yes, we will highlight the different track records, the different commitments that the different parties have shown to defence investment and therefore to the security of our nation because it’s a valid point of contrast, backed by the evidence in the data that will be part of Australians choice when we come to a federal election campaign.
Journalist: How much of the nuclear submarines will be built in South Australia?
Simon Birmingham: So the nuclear powered submarines will be built in South Australia. We’ve been very clear about that. The process for building those nuclear powered submarines is a critically important one being undertaken between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. South Australia is going to continue to play host the coming few days and weeks to a number of delegations from the US and UK, who are so committed to this joint partnership and joint undertaking that they’re travelling to Australia, they’re travelling to South Australia, they’re visiting Osborne and our defence bases. They’re the facilities there to ensure that they understand fully how it is that we can best deliver those nuclear powered submarines, but do so as safely and securely as possible. The safety around nuclear stewardship is of the utmost importance and criteria here for the build process and then, of course, for the operational and sustainment elements in the years to come.
Journalist: But is the jobs up there going to be less than it would have been under the previous proposal?
Simon Birmingham: I’m going to be very, very clear. The nuclear powered submarines will be bigger than the attack class would have been, and there’ll be more complicated and more sophisticated than the attack class would have been. On those grounds, people should have confidence that there will be even greater demand for jobs related to that program in the future, given the additional complexities, the additional physical size of those boats. So we’ve committed to make sure that South Australia’s jobs continue to grow in terms of defence and they are. What we’re seeing is that every single year, under all of the projections produced by defence, new jobs are being created in South Australia. New workforce is required. There’s projected to be more than 5400 shipbuilding related jobs in South Australia alone by 2030. That’s year on year growth, leading to 2030, with even more going beyond 2030. When you look at what will be happening with the nuclear powered submarine program at that stage. The real, the key thing here is that actually we need more people, more young South Australians and more young Australians to be studying and engineering and sciences and the technology related jobs that will enable us to get those programs delivered.
Journalist: But aren’t there documents showing that there’ll be a thousand fewer jobs on the submarines over the next decade than they would have been under the French?
Simon Birmingham: Look, I don’t accept the way in which the Labor Party has characterised some of that analysis. And crucially, when we made the decisions around the nuclear powered submarines, we also made the decisions to keep full cycle docking in South Australia to undertake the life of type extension in South Australia, to do the upgrades to the air warfare destroyers in South Australia. And we gave a jobs guarantee to every single individual working in Naval Group or Lockheed Martin to be able to transfer across to ASC, and hundreds of them are doing so and we’re living up to that guarantee. But the types of projections that are there show very clearly more jobs in defence in South Australia every single year out to 2030, and that will only keep growing, potentially even faster thereafter-.
Journalist: [Indistinct] less than there would have been?
Simon Birmingham: Well, there would have been fewer jobs had the decisions around life of type extension, full cycle docking or the air warfare destroyer not been made in South Australia’s interests.
Journalist: But we are not talking about the previous submarine program compared to the current submarine program?
Simon Birmingham: Well, Tom. You don’t get to pick and choose in that regard. What we secured is a very is a very strong-
Journalist: No, I know that. That’s why I specifically asked about comparing the current submarine programme to the former submarine program?
Simon Birmingham: And the future submarine program, the nuclear powered submarine program. A bigger boat. More technologically sophisticated. Greater challenges in terms of making sure that we meet all of the huge standards around nuclear stewardship and safety. There will only be more jobs necessary to deliver that nuclear powered submarine program than there would have otherwise been the case.
Journalist: Talking about politics infiltrating defence announcements and the role that will play in the federal campaign. We’re in the first day today of the state election campaign. Is it all a bit in-house for you to be here introducing the premier on the day he goes to the governor to issue writs given? Well, you’re his chief of staff, is you’re married to for a start, and is it just a little bit in house to be playing state politics with national defence?
Simon Birmingham: I’m not quite sure what my wife’s job has to do with anything there, Tom. But aside from that little grubby aside. This is a very important announcement for South Australia. It’s not a decision that has been hours or days in the making. It’s been months and years in the making. And the state government, as you have heard from defence, went through a very competitive process, put the dollars, the land, the investment in place to create the facility. That has meant that South Australia has won this work fair and square. South Australia has won this work because of the merits of the case. The business proposition that was put to have the deep maintenance of the 737’s occur right here. That’s how this decision has come about because the state government showed the leadership in identifying the land and investing in putting forward a competitive proposal. Defence through all of the proper processes of the Commonwealth has gone through a very thorough analysis and come to a conclusion and a decision, and this is very good news for South Australia in that sense. And so it’s very welcome. But crucially, as you’ve heard, it also ensures that we have the long term capability to maintain these important aircraft and others in Australia in the future.
Journalist: I have one more question on a budget issue here. Is there a need to expand the existing housing schemes like the Family Home Guarantee in the budget? And do you think it’s necessary for the post-pandemic recovery?
Simon Birmingham: We’re so excited and proud of the achievements we’ve seen in recent years in the growth of first home ownership across Australia. What we’d seen previously was a decline in rates of first home ownership, and we’ve turned that around to have growth in first home ownership thanks to the success of programs like the first home owner guarantee. So of course, we’re not going to speculate in terms of what will or won’t be in the budget. That’s a matter that we will work through over the next few weeks, and budget details will be announced on budget night. But what we’ve achieved as a nation and the turnaround we’ve had in terms of first home ownership is one of the great achievements of the Morrison government, one of which we are most proud because we know from the review into retirement savings and incomes that was undertaken that owning your own home is one of the most important ways that people can be secure in retirement and that it is one of the most important outcomes there. So home ownership is not just about the here and now, it’s about the long term, and we have achieved that growth through innovative programs like the first home owners guarantee. That has ensured, we’re able to get more first home owners into the housing market. And of course, in last year’s budget, we particularly targeted single parents to provide them with real assistance to help get into that housing market, knowing that if they can take what they’re paying in rent and instead pay it on a mortgage that’s going to provide financial security right through their lives right into retirement.
Journalist: How would you describe budget preparations at the moment?
Simon Birmingham: Budget preparations are well advanced. We have been working on the budget for weeks and months as of course we would do. And in that budget, we are looking carefully at how we build on our economic recovery plan that has Australia’s unemployment rate sitting at 4.2 per cent, the lowest in 13 years. We’ve got, as a nation, the lowest unemployment rates in 13 years, the lowest youth unemployment rate in 14 years and the highest level of women’s workforce participation in the nation’s history. They’re the types of things we want to build upon, as well as underpinning the economic security of Australians through that job security, through the tax cuts we’re delivering. And of course, through important areas like home ownership.
Journalist: Given that national security such a big part of the debate at the moment can we expect a defence splurge in the March budget?
Simon Birmingham: Once again, I’ll leave budget speculation for those who want to speculate, we will hand down the budget as scheduled on the date that it’s scheduled. But if Australians want to think about who they can trust to invest in our defence forces, they need only look at the track record of the Labor Party, who cut real spending in defence by 10 per cent more than 10 per cent in 2012-2013, who drove that level of defence spending down to the lowest level since 1938. And they can contrast it with the liberal and national government that has restored defence investment. And through that restoration of defence investment, is able to make the type of capability investment decisions necessary to keep our nation secure.
Journalist: Labor is saying that there will be one 1080 fewer South Australians employed on the nuclear subs compared to the original attack class. What’s your response to that?
Simon Birmingham: It’s complete rubbish to characterise it in that way. The nuclear powered submarines will be a bigger boat, a more complicated boat that requires careful areas of nuclear sustainment and safety and management, and there will ultimately be many more jobs created in that program because of its size and sophistication.
Journalist: I think, definitely cleared this up, but I just want to ask a technical question about if this is an election commitment or it is actually going to happen, this commitment?
Steven Marshall: This has happened. This went through cabinet earlier this week and of course, it’s a federal government announcement. So we needed to wait for federal parliament to finish and Senator Birmingham was available this morning. So this is happening and we’re very excited about this. This is more defence jobs coming to South Australia.
Journalist: But you are calling an election well, you are starting an election campaign today. What’s your pitch to the people of South Australia to re-elect you?
Steven Marshall: Well, I think it’s very clear that South Australia has done well in the face of a global pandemic. We’ve kept South Australia safe and our economy strong. We’ve got a record economic performance at the moment. Top in Australia. Got more people employed than prior to COVID. We’ve got record exports out of South Australia and we’ve finally got people coming back to our state, turning off that exodus of young people and capital presided over by Labor. The risk to this is a change in government. We’ve got to keep building a stronger South Australia and we’ve delivered lower costs of energy water and we’ve grown our economy. That is what is at stake. If the former union boss, Peter Malinauskas, gets his hands on the Treasury bench, he’s got form where he’s already been in cabinet previously and I, you know, I welcome people looking at his track record, his track record when he closed the Repat hospital, when he presided over sitting in cabinet, where they downgraded hospital services in South Australia. I think this election, more than any before, is an election on trust. Who do you trust to keep building a stronger South Australia? A former union boss or a government which has delivered, kept South Australia safe and kept our economy strong.
Journalist: Talking about the danger of Labor on the Treasury bench. Would it be appropriate for you to identify who the treasurer of the next Liberal government would be?
Steven Marshall: Well, as I’ve said repeatedly, we’re spoilt for choice in the Liberal Party. The way that we make decisions in our cabinet government is not up to the Treasurer. That all goes through the cabinet. We’ve got a large budget cabinet committee. There’s some very strong performers there.
Journalist: Are you fighting in all seats, there’s still quite a few you haven’t?
Steven Marshall: All seats will have a Liberal representative.
Journalist: Are you concerned that defence documents appear to show there’ll be a thousand fewer jobs in South Australia over the next decade on the submarine build than there would have been previously?
Steven Marshall: No concern whatsoever. This is just true to form Labor scaremongering. They did the same thing with the full cycle docking. They said we’d lost it to Western Australia. It’s confirmed to stay here. They’ve seized on a document that says in eight years’ time there could be a variation we’ll obviously, the federal government’s just made their decision. The AUKUS announcement, we strongly support it. Labor out there talking it down. Of course, those submarines are going to start slightly after what would have happened with the naval group contract. But there are plenty of jobs, thousands of jobs in defence. It’s very disappointing that Peter Malinauskas and Labor want to talk it down again.
Journalist: Just on the Treasury again, I know you’ve said you’re spoilt for choice and there have been names mooted. Is your former deputy Vickie Chapman still a possibility for the Treasury role or can you rule that out now?
Steven Marshall: No. Look, I’m just making it clear I’m not going to be drawn on who the next treasurer is going to be. There’s plenty of people with capability. We’re going to see what happens at this election, who is elected and will put our best team forward onto the playing field after the election.
Journalist: Don’t you think South Australians voting in this election would might like to know that when they cast their vote?
Steven Marshall: I think they need to know it from Labour’s perspective, because Labor have a different arrangement to cabinet government than we do. We meet twice a week. It’s a whole of government, whole of cabinet decision on all matters. We’ve put those very important cabinet committees in place at the budget. Cabinet Committee has, I think, five or six members of the cabinet serving on it, so it’s a different arrangement from Labor.
Journalist: Is it a bit unusual? Clearly a bit unusual. Could you comment on the arrangement that Rob Lucas seems to be playing such a front and centre role in this campaign, given he’s retiring on election day?
Steven Marshall: No, I don’t think that’s unusual whatsoever. I mean, he’s a highly capable person with great experience. He’ll be missed. But certainly what he’s done is to develop the capability right across the budget cabinet committee. We’ve got plenty of options going forward.
Journalist: Premier, one of your colleagues, David Speirs, has said he won’t be putting up corflutes at this election. Are you going to be putting up your corflutes? Would you encourage other people not to do that?
Steven Marshall: Yeah, I strongly support David Speers decision not to put up corflutes. He championed the cause for removing them in the legislation. I strongly supported that, of course. Very disappointingly again, Peter Malinauskas and Labor decided that they didn’t want to support that important, important reform. I’m using some old posters from last time, luckily, I haven’t aged very much, so very lucky in that regard.
Journalist: You talked about what you have done in the state that South Australia is in terms of your re-election. What will you do if re-elected? What’s the next four years?
Steven Marshall: The reality, Tom, is that we’ve got to keep the momentum going in South Australia for the first time ever. South Australia is the fastest growing economy in the nation. We’re attracting global companies to our state for the first time ever, and this is keeping young people with jobs in our state. I know that many people in the past wanting to get a great job have had to move interstate or overseas. Well, that’s no longer the case. We’ve got a net migration back to South Australia for the first time in 30 to 40 years. There is a lot at stake at this election. It’s not the time to be taking the risk with the former union boss Peter Malinauskas. It’s time to keep that momentum going. We want to obviously lean in to our growth state agenda where we’re seeing massive growth in areas like defence and space and cyber. We’re also very keen to do everything we can to advance our capability in South Australia around hydrogen. What have we got? By contrast, we’ve got the Labor Party opposing the interconnector with New South Wales, which would just bring billions of dollars 5 to $10 billion worth of investment in renewable energy into South Australia. They opposed taking year seven to secondary school. They oppose the Women’s and Children’s Hospital being co-located with the Royal Adelaide Hospital. They oppose the Riverbank Arena, which is going to create thousands of jobs in South Australia. They’re very well defined and what they don’t want to do. What we want to do, though, is to continue to grow our economy and provide that opportunity for the next generation to stay right here in our state.
Steven Marshall: Yeah. So obviously today we also announce our ninth package of support to the small business sector in South Australia. This is particularly open to businesses that are still really suffering compared to where they were in February two years ago. So if they are at 50 per cent of revenue of where they were two years ago and there are some businesses that remain in that sector, then we’ve got a further round and there’s a sliding scale depending on the size of the business and also whether they’re where they’re based in the CBD, which we know is doing it particularly tough. This is the ninth package that we’ve put out the third since Omicron. It takes our business support to $158 million since Omicron first came to South Australia. But my most important focus at the moment is continuing to grow demand for those businesses so that we’re not having to provide that support. Going forward, I was really pleased last night that people are getting out and about safely in South Australia. The COVID marshals are there. The QR code check, check in is there. It is now time to be going out and spending money in our economy. Obviously, the COVID Ready Committee will be meeting again this coming week to decide what those restrictions are going to be, that we’re going to lift later in the week. And I can. I don’t have the exact numbers for you at the time of this press conference, but we have had a further reduction in the number of positive cases in South Australia reported in the 24 hours to midnight last night. That’s great news, but we cannot become complacent. Anybody with any symptoms whatsoever needs to go and have that PCR test. And if you haven’t had your vaccination or your booster yet, now is a very good time. No line ups whatsoever.
Journalist: Do you think the election will be a referendum on your decision to keep the borders open after the Omicron crunch?
Steven Marshall: Well, look, there’s no doubt there is absolutely no doubt that COVID will play a big part in this election. It’s uppermost on people’s minds. I think South Australia has done particularly well. We’ve worked together to keep South Australia safe, but at the same time grow our economy with a fastest growing economy in the entire nation. This is a very important election for the people of South Australia. Now is just not the time for people to be taking risks.