The Western Australian and South Australian Governments have joined forces in a bid to give their States a better chance of winning lucrative defence contracts.
WA Premier Geoff Gallop and SA Premier Mike Rann today signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which promotes a more co-operative approach from the two States when vying for up to $8billion in naval shipbuilding and repair contracts.
Both Premiers agreed the alliance was a landmark achievement that would have important economic benefits for WA and SA.
“Up until now, we have both been placing valuable resources and time into competing against one another, when we should be maximising our respective strengths to ensure WA and SA do not unnecessarily lose contracts to the more populated States in the east,” the Premiers said.
“Both States have built up modern naval construction and repair facilities and we need to make sure these facilities are retained and used into the future.”
Dr Gallop said WA had already attracted up to $1billion in defence work through the Armidale Class naval patrol boats, ANZAC frigate and submarine refit contracts. This agreement would provide further opportunities to grow and develop the industry.
“We have proved ourselves to be competitive and we have the necessary skills and expertise to develop these projects,” he said.
Mr Rann said an alliance offered each State the opportunity to win more of the Commonwealth business and reduced the risk of its shipbuilding industry missing out entirely.
“It will also make the Federal Government sit up and take notice that SA and WA are significant players in this industry,” he said.
“I am delighted that SA has secured the support of WA in our bid to win the Air Warfare Destroyer contract. Instead of rivals, we are now allies.”
Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, WA and SA will support the aspirations of South Australia to consolidate the Air Warfare Destroyer ship contracts, module fabrication projects in both States and the aspirations of WA to consolidate amphibious ship contracts at the Australian Marine Complex.
SA and WA will also work closely together to train their naval shipbuilding and repair workforces in a cost effective manner and avoid duplication through the development of complementary industrial services.
Dr Gallop said this was one part of a comprehensive strategy to enhance the State’s shipbuilding and repairs industry.
“The signing of today’s agreement reinforces my Government’s commitment to creating a stronger economy and more jobs and opportunities,” he said.
“By delivering four balanced Budgets in four years my Government has been able to invest $80million in the Australian Marine Complex, attract Raytheon to WA as a key defence contractor and help facilitate the Garden Island complex as a major naval facility.”
Premier's office: 9222 9475