South Australia rides naval construction wave

Joint media release

  • Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP

The Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, joined the Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP, to inspect the substantial transformation underway at the Osborne Naval Precinct in South Australia.

Minister Reynolds said construction of the advanced, digitally-enabled shipyard infrastructure at Osborne South was on track for completion by March 2020, ahead of the commencement of production prototyping on the $35 billion Hunter-class frigate program.

“We’re now witnessing the future of naval shipbuilding in South Australia take shape, with the fabrication and assembly halls at Osborne South changing the landscape of the Osborne Naval Shipyard precinct,” Minister Reynolds said.

“When completed next year, Australia will have the most technologically advanced naval shipyard for design and production of our Navy’s future fleet – a significant step in preserving our world-class military capability.

“This $535 million investment has seen more than 40,000 cubic meters of concrete poured for the foundation slabs, 25,000 tonnes of steel sourced and has created opportunities for 58 local suppliers involved in the shipyard redevelopment project.”

Minister Reynolds also met with the Premier of South Australia, the Hon Steven Marshall MP, to discuss emerging industry and investment opportunities for businesses interested in participating in the Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise.

Minister Price said working with the South Australian Government was vital to delivering the Government’s agenda of equipping and sustaining a highly capable Australian Defence Force.

“Construction on the first two Arafura-class Offshore Patrol Vessels continues at a steady pace, creating 200 direct Australian jobs and I’m impressed with the high quality of work on display at Osborne,” Minister Price said.

“Structural upgrades to the third Air Warfare Destroyer, NUSHIP Sydney, are well underway and will deliver a world-class capability to the Navy when she enters service early next year.”

Minister Price said naval shipbuilding is one of many defence industry programs in the state and 14 Defence Innovation Hub contracts, worth a combined investment of $29 million, had already been awarded to South Australian companies.

“This represents a combined investment of over $29 million in the South Australian economy and defence industry.

“These are results I want to replicate and build on right across the nation as we engage thousands of Australians to work in our defence industry,” Minister Price said.

The Australian Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise will provide approximately 15,000 skilled and professional jobs, with demand for naval construction workers in South Australia expected to grow to around 5,200 workers by the mid- to late 2020s.

More information on the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise is available on the Defence website: http://www.defence.gov.au/navalshipbuilding/

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