Industry and Enterprise Minister Francis Logan has welcomed today’s announcement by the Federal Government that Spanish shipbuilder Navantia has won a contract to build the Royal Australian Navy’s new air warfare destroyers and amphibious ships.
Mr Logan said the Navantia partnership with Australian defence companies Tenix and ASC would prove to be a winner for Western Australia.
“WA has been actively building a strong relationship with Navantia over the past 18 months,” Mr Logan said.
“I have been on two missions to Spain to meet with senior representatives from Navantia to promote WA’s exceptional module fabrication capabilities and to strengthen our links with the company.
“In addition, Navantia’s representatives have visited the Australian Marine Complex (AMC) at Henderson to view WA’s module fabrication capabilities. WA also hosted the first visit to Australia by the Spanish Navy’s F100 multi-purpose frigate, the Alvaro de Bazan, earlier this year.
“This provided us with the opportunity to reinforce the AMC’s capabilities and also enabled WA industry to view the ship and receive technical briefings to identify potential business opportunities.”
The Minister said a significant amount of the ASC’s work on the new air warfare destroyers would be completed in WA, due to a memorandum-of-understanding that was signed by the WA and South Australian Governments to capitalise on the shipbuilding capabilities of each State.
He said the ASC was also increasing its presence in WA through the construction of a $35million facility at the AMC.
“The AMC is the logical choice for ship module fabrication and it is worth noting that approximately 70 per cent of the air warfare destroyer modules will be built outside of South Australia,“ the Minister said.
Mr Logan said this decision proves WA backed a winner in its support for Navantia.
But he said it was disappointing the Federal Government had not insisted that Navantia build the hulls for the amphibious ships in Australia.
“Navantia was prepared to do the work in Australia, rather than at their shipyards in Spain,” he said.
“I am very disappointed that the Howard Government did not insist that this occur. It means that billions of dollars will be needlessly going overseas, especially when we have the capacity and infrastructure to do the work in WA.
“The State Government will continue to promote the AMC to all parties to secure more of the module components for the two contracts.”
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