Seven naval shipbuilding industry briefings will be held across regional Australia to provide businesses with the opportunity to contribute to the $89 billion national shipbuilding endeavour.
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Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne announced the briefings on Tuesday and said "the industry briefings will focus on the next generation of naval surface ships; specifically the Future Frigate and Offshore Patrol Vessels, which represent a $39 billion investment by the Australian government".
The briefings will be held in Geelong on 7 April, Geraldton and Nowra on 11 April, Bunbury on 12 April, and Whyalla on 4 May, with dates still to be confirmed for Newcastle and Cairns.
Minister Pyne said the naval programs will create thousands of jobs and it is important to equip Australian companies with opportunities to contribute to the programs.
"The Future Frigate and Offshore Patrol Vessel programs will directly create over 2,500 jobs for Australians, indirectly supporting the jobs of many thousands more," Minister Pyne said.
"To ensure this occurs, it is critical that we provide Australian companies with opportunities to enter the supply chain.
"Where possible and practical, Australian companies should have the opportunity to benefit from the economic advantages of a thriving domestic defence sector.
"Importantly, this will contribute to the ability of the Australian Defence Force to respond to our national security requirements."
Industry participants will be provided with high-level updates on the progress of the two shipbuilding programs and how they can get involved through registering with the newly-launched Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC).
“The CDIC is a partnership between Defence and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to support Australian industry by offering practical advice and assistance needed to work with Defence,” Minister Pyne said.
“Almost 400 businesses have registered for shipbuilding updates through CDIC’s portal to date.”
The Future Frigate program will replace eight Anzac Class ships with nine future frigates, while the Offshore Patrol Vessel program is replacing 13 Armidale Class Patrol Boats with 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels.
The Offshore Patrol Vessels are due to begin construction in Adelaide in 2018 and will move production to Henderson, Western Australia in 2020.
The Future Frigate program is slated to begin construction in 2020 in Adelaide.
To attend one of these briefings, click here to register.