The State Government has stepped-up its campaign to convince the Commonwealth that Western Australia should play a major role in a $2billion Australian Navy vessel contract.
Science and Innovation Minister Francis Logan has joined with unions, industry and local government to launch the ‘Logical Choice’ campaign at the Australian Marine Complex (AMC) at Henderson.
“The campaign aims to convince the Federal Government to build the two new naval vessels in Australia and to promote WA and the AMC as the logical choice to consolidate them,” Mr Logan said.
“We have the infrastructure and we have the skilled labour - there is every reason for the AMC to host this massive project.”
The Minister said the Federal Government announced in May its tender to build two amphibious vessels capable of transporting 1,000 personnel, holding 150 vehicles and featuring six helicopter landing spots, two operating theatres and a hospital ward.
He said tenders would close in September and a decision was expected by May 2007.
Two Australian companies, ADI and Tenix, had teamed with French and Spanish designers to bid for the contract.
Mr Logan said unions and the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry supported the State Government in its campaign for the consolidation work to be carried out at the AMC, should the ships be built in Australia.
“The AMC is a multi-million dollar complex servicing the defence, marine, resources and petroleum sectors,” he said.
“It is globally recognised as a leader in its field and is the logical choice to host this project. If the ships were to be consolidated and integrated here, they would create about 1,500 new jobs over a 10-year period.
“One of the attractions we can offer is the Common User Facility (CUF) in the AMC fabrication precinct. Since its establishment in 2003, the CUF has generated more than $90million for the local economy and created about 800 jobs.”
The Minister said the AMC had housed such major projects as Tenix’s $60million Delos tanker conversion to HMAS Sirius, the ANZAC Alliance’s $500million ANZAC ship upgrades and Austal Ships’ $350million construction of the new Armidale Class patrol boats.
“The State and Federal Governments have invested more than $200million in the complex to date,” he said.
“The WA Government has committed a further $81.1million to make it the best equipped place to undertake the consolidation of the ships.”
Minister's office: (08) 9222 8950