Up to 500 jobs and several hundred million dollars worth of work are expected to come to Western Australia as a result of South Australia’s successful bid to build three Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD).
The $6billion project has been awarded to South Australian company ASC Shipbuilding Pty Ltd.
Premier Geoff Gallop today said up to 70 per cent of the AWD module construction would be done outside South Australia, with potentially half the work going to WA.
South Australia’s bid for the $6billion project was supported by WA under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by both States in December last year.
Under the MOU, SA and WA work co-operatively together to compete for lucrative defence contracts against the other larger States.
Dr Gallop said the Western Australian community would benefit from the decision to join forces with South Australia.
“ASC has indicated that it is likely that 30-35 per cent of the module fabrication work for this contract will be undertaken by WA industry,” he said.
“This equates to several hundred million dollars worth of work to the State and up to 500 jobs over the seven-year build program.”
The Premier said most of the module fabrication work likely to be awarded to WA industry would be undertaken in Kwinana and assembled at the Common User Facility at the Australian Marine Complex (AMC) at Cockburn Sound.
He said the AMC had been building up its naval shipbuilding and repair capability in recent times. In January this year Austal Ships launched the first of 14 Armidale Patrol Boats being constructed for the Navy. Tenix had been awarded a $60million contract to refit the tanker Delos into a Replenishment at Sea vessel, due to begin in August.
In addition, work had started on the $500million weapon system upgrade to the ANZAC Frigates by the ANZAC Alliance at the complex.
“Under the Naval Shipbuilding Alliance, WA supported SA for the AWD build contract,” Dr Gallop said.
“SA will now support WA’s efforts to be the location for the consolidation of the upcoming $2billion amphibious vessel contract which, due to its substantial size, is ideally suited to the capabilities of the AMC.”
The Premier said the Government’s commitment to developing the AMC and enhancing the infrastructure at the site as part of the Defence Industry Strategy had paid dividends.
The $70million the Government had committed to additional infrastructure would enable the complex to be the logical location for the consolidation of the upcoming project.
“We are currently exploring other initiatives such as joint training and skills enhancement activities with South Australia and we are confident that this announcement will bring our two States closer together in our efforts to undertake this major naval shipbuilding project,” Dr Gallop said.
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