Indigenous connections opens new pathways for Hunter Class Frigate Program

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Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Minister for Defence

The Hon Melissa Price MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for Science and Technology

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Ben Martin (Minister Reynolds’ Office): +61 447 219 902
Ben Spencer (Minister Price’s office): +61 412 754 310
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12 November 2020

Joint media release:

  • Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP


The Morrison Government’s Hunter Class Frigate Program is continuing to progress with the first Indigenous supplier contracted to the project.

ASC Shipbuilding signed a contract with Indigenous Defence & Infrastructure Consortium (iDiC) and its partner TQCSI-Yaran, to commence work during the prototyping phase of the Program.

TQCSI-Yaran, an Adelaide-based company, will audit and undertake quality, safety, health and environmental systems certification.

Minster for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the prototyping phase is on track to begin next month.

“Prototyping is an essential phase in the building of any complex warship. This will ensure that ASC Shipbuilding’s workforce are thoroughly trained in using the state of the art digital equipment in one of the world’s most advanced shipyards at Osborne in Adelaide,” Minister Reynolds said.

“This first phase is vital to the overall program, which will provide Navy with a regionally superior anti-submarine warfare capability it needs in the future.

“Today’s milestone demonstrates the steps being taken by this Government to maximise Australian Industry Content for the Hunter Class Frigate Program, while supporting Australian jobs.

“I am proud that BAE Systems Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan and strategic relationship with the Indigenous Defence and Infrastructure Consortium is opening up new opportunities for Indigenous businesses to win work and be an important part of the Hunter Class program.

“Indigenous businesses who are contributing to Defence programs are not only a key part of the Australian economy, but are also providing jobs and supporting the community they represent.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the Hunter Class Frigate Program was expected to create enormous opportunities for Australia’s defence industry.

“More than 1,300 Australian companies are already pre-qualified for ASC Shipbuilding’s Hunter Class Frigate supply chain,” Minister Price said.

“The work that Indigenous Defence & Infrastructure Consortium (iDiC) and their partner TQCSI-Yaran will undertake is an important step for prototyping activities and provides practical training opportunities for Australian workers.

“During prototyping, the processes, systems, tools, facilities and workforce competencies will be extensively tested and refined before construction starts on the first Hunter class frigate.

“I look forward to seeing more Indigenous businesses being contracted to support the Government’s National Naval Shipbuilding Program.”

TQCSI Yaran is a majority indigenous-owned and operated business partnered with the Indigenous Defence and Infrastructure Consortium (iDiC). The iDiC has proven capability in various direct and indirect procurement services to support large defence and infrastructure projects.

ASC Shipbuilding, the prime contractor for the Hunter Class Frigate Program, is a subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia who have developed a Reconciliation Action Plan and a Strategic Relationship Agreement with the iDiC.

Both initiatives provide opportunities for Indigenous suppliers to become part of BAE Systems’ supply chain.

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