Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds and Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price have travelled to South Australia to inspect the substantial transformation underway at the Osborne Naval Precinct.
Minister Reynolds confirmed that the digitally-enabled shipyard infrastructure at Osborne South was on track for completion by March 2020, ahead of the commencement of production prototyping on the $35 billion Hunter Class frigate program.
“We’re now witnessing the future of naval shipbuilding in South Australia take shape, with the fabrication and assembly halls at Osborne South changing the landscape of the Osborne Naval Shipyard precinct,” Minister Reynolds said.
“When completed next year, Australia will have the most technologically advanced naval shipyard for design and production of our Navy’s future fleet – a significant step in preserving our world-class military capability.
“This $535 million investment has seen more than 40,000 cubic metres of concrete poured for the foundation slabs, 25,000 tonnes of steel sourced and has created opportunities for 58 local suppliers involved in the shipyard redevelopment project.”
Also on hand was the Premier of South Australia, Steven Marshall, with discussions taking place about emerging industry and investment opportunities for businesses interested in participating in the Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise.
The Minister for Defence Industry said working with the SA government was vital to delivering the federal government’s agenda of equipping and sustaining a highly capable Australian Defence Force.
“Construction on the first two Arafura Class offshore patrol vssels continues at a steady pace, creating 200 direct Australian jobs, and I’m impressed with the high quality of work on display at Osborne,” Minister Price said.
“Structural upgrades to the third air warfare destroyer, NUSHIP Sydney, are well underway and will deliver a world-class capability to the Navy when she enters service early next year.”
Minister Price said naval shipbuilding was one of many defence industry programs in the state and 14 Defence Innovation Hub contracts, worth a combined investment of $29 million, had already been awarded to South Australian companies.
“These are results I want to replicate and build on right across the nation as we engage thousands of Australians to work in our defence industry,” she said.
The Australian Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise will provide approximately 15,000 skilled and professional jobs, with demand for naval construction workers in South Australia expected to grow to around 5,200 workers by the mid to late 2020s.