Premier Geoff Gallop is delighted at the prospect of Western Australian shipbuilders undertaking the Defence Department’s contract to build the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) replacement Armidale class patrol boats.
The final contract could involve building up to 15 new patrol boats for the Navy and is estimated to be worth around $380million, creating up to 450 full-time jobs for the five-year life of the project.
“The decision by the Defence Department to eliminate ADI, based in Newcastle, NSW from the tender process means that Western Australian companies Tenix Defence and DMS, partnering with Austal, remain as the two final short-listed companies,” Dr Gallop said.
“This is great news for WA with both final bidders based within the Shipbuilding Precinct of the Australian Marine Complex (AMC) in Cockburn Sound.
“This will be another significant boost to the AMC’s employment levels and it will generate significant investment into the area. The creation of up to 450 full-time jobs, subcontractor expenditure and other flows ons should take the overall financial value of the project to more than $630million, creating an average of 1,046 jobs each year.”
Dr Gallop praised the efforts of State Development Minister Clive Brown and Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, Member for Rockingham Mark McGowan, for the various missions they have led to Canberra to lobby on behalf of Western Australian companies for the contracts.
Mr Brown said the Defence Department decision follows the recent attraction of Raytheon Australia to the AMC Technology Precinct and the consolidation of Beurteaux Seats operations to the Support Precinct.
“The State Government has undertaken research which suggests that the Raytheon operation will help WA tap into $6.5billion worth of naval projects in Australia, a solid justification for our investment in the complex,” Mr Brown said.
A decision on which Western Australian bid wins the contract is expected to be made later this year.
The Armidale class patrol boats are to enter service with the Royal Australian Navy from 2004-2005, in accordance with the Defence White Paper.
Premier's office: 9222 9475
or Minister's office: 9222 9699