Morrison Government’s Defence Strategy to deliver jobs and investment to South Australia

Joint media release

  • Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

The Morrison Government’s updated Defence Strategy and ongoing commitment to maximising Australian industry involvement in Defence capability projects will create new jobs and investment in South Australia over the coming decade and beyond.

As detailed in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan released by Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP and Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC today, the Government will invest a record $270 billion in Defence capability and infrastructure over the next decade across Australia.

South Australia is at the forefront of the Government’s plan to ensure that Australia has the maritime capabilities to defend Australia and its interests over the coming decades, supported by a world-class, sustainable naval shipbuilding industry.

Through this plan, there will around $2.6 billion invested over the coming decade into the refresh and redevelopment of Defence facilities in South Australia including:

  • Bases in the greater Adelaide area including the Edinburgh Defence Precinct and Keswick Barracks; and
  • Bases in regional South Australia including the Woomera Range Complex, Cultana Training Area and Port Wakefield Proof and Experimental Establishment to ensure that Defence’s training and testing facilities effectively support our current and future Defence capability.

Local industry involvement in the delivery of these projects will be maximised through this Government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative. This ensures that local suppliers, contractors and tradies have the opportunity to secure more of this work, creating more jobs for local communities in South Australia.

This investment comes on top of the Government’s significant investment in building and sustaining Australian Defence Force capability in South Australia.

Over the 12 months to March 2020, Defence has invested around $3.4 billion in South Australia. Examples of key program and activities in South Australia include:

  • The construction of the world’s most advanced digital shipyard at Osborne South that has supported over 500 jobs at the height of construction
  • The construction of the new submarine yard at Osborne North over the next three years which will generate over 500 jobs at its peak
  • Major mid-life redesign of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network supporting around 270 jobs
  • Upgrades to the Woomera Test Range supporting around 15 ongoing jobs.

Significantly, the Morrison Government is already progressing towards the build of 23 naval vessels in South Australia, which are expected to support the creation of more than 5,000 direct jobs. These naval vessels include:

  • 12 regionally superior Attack Class submarines
  • 9 Hunter Class frigates
  • 2 Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels

In addition to South Australia being the centrepiece of the Morrison Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan, significant upgrades and infrastructure development will occur over the decade to strengthen South Australia’s role as a control centre of the ADF’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance airborne platforms, as well as space situational awareness capabilities. Beyond these roles, South Australia will be a vital part of Defence’s footprint supporting situational awareness capabilities, electronic warfare, and research and development activities in the future.

Today, South Australia is home to around 9,000 Defence personnel, including ADF permanent and reserve members and Australian Public Service employees. This number is forecast to grow over the coming years.

The policies and investment in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan will make the ADF more capable for the wide range of scenarios Australia will face in the future, more agile to rapid changes, and more potent if a situation should call for it.

What is more, much of this investment in Australia’s defence capabilities will go directly to Australian industry, creating jobs and skills. This Government’s investment in defence capability is already benefitting around 15,000 Australian businesses, who support around 70,000 Australian workers. These numbers are set to increase in line with these new opportunities for Australian industry.

This is a comprehensive plan to further build the resilience, agility and capability of the ADF, and create a more secure and safe Australia. The people of South Australia can have confidence that this Government will ensure that we can defend our nation and protect our interests today and into the future.

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