- Federal Government's decision snubs WA
- Western Australia made a superior case to secure program
- Independent studies demonstrated WA's superior capacity to take on the work
- Commonwealth fails to provide certainty on continuous shipbuilding in WA
- $89.3 million of upgrades underway at Henderson's Australian Marine Complex, which have been agreed to and supported by Defence
The McGowan Labor Government has called upon the Commonwealth to deliver its commitment to establish and support two national shipbuilding hubs, and to provide the same level of certainty that has been provided to South Australia.
The Federal Government's decision to keep Australia's submarine maintenance work in South Australia - despite WA making a superior case in the national interest to take on the multibillion-dollar program - represents further uncertainty to WA's local industry.
The submarine fleet and submariners are already based at Garden Island, and two independent studies demonstrated Western Australia's advantages over South Australia to run the program.
Henderson's Australian Marine Complex already had the capacity to accommodate the work, with the McGowan Government further bolstering its capability with an $89.3 million investment to make additional improvements to the defence industry hub.
In addition to the submarine maintenance work, South Australia has been awarded a $5.1 billion project to upgrade Air Warfare Destroyers combat systems.
Western Australia's world-leading resources industry gives WA unmatched capability among other States to undertake defence projects, with the two sectors having considerable similarities.
The McGowan Government is now calling upon the Commonwealth to allocate a significant proportion of the $270 billion program of defence work announced as part of the 2020 Force Structure Plan to Western Australia.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"This decision does not recognise WA's innate industrial strength and shipbuilding capability.
"The Federal Liberals and Nationals have turned their back on WA.
"This is a decision that favours the Eastern States and flies in the face of Western Australia's strong case to secure the Full Cycle Docking program.
"While we are extremely disappointed, we know that Western Australia's superior capability to undertake job-creating defence projects at Henderson remains.
"We have the industry expertise, the infrastructure and the capability to accommodate a much larger share of Australia's defence industry work.
"I call upon the Federal Government to allocate a significant proportion of its upcoming multibillion-dollar program of works to WA - to rightly acknowledge the capacity of our industry, support WA jobs and serve the national interest."
Comments attributed to Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia:
"The Commonwealth has chosen to back South Australia and snub Western Australia, ignoring the national interest in the process.
"Western Australia's defence industry has every right to be deeply aggrieved.
"WA industry and the State Government engaged in a two-and-a-half-year process in good faith only to find that the Federal Government was never genuine."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Defence Industry Minister's office - 6552 5600