States and Territories follow Morrison Government’s lead on Aussie shipbuilding jobs

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The Hon Melissa Price MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for Science and Technology

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16 December 2020

Every Australian state and territory is set to join forces with the Morrison Government to develop a skilled national naval shipbuilding workforce by signing Cooperation Agreements with the Government’s Naval Shipbuilding College.

The cooperation agreements commit the states and territories to working with the Naval Shipbuilding College to establish and develop new workforce pipelines and ensure there are clear career pathways for jobseekers into the naval shipbuilding sector.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the agreements supported a nation-wide effort to developing the future workforce by providing the education and training required to deliver a sovereign shipbuilding capability.  

“A skilled and experienced workforce remains critical to the successful delivery of a new naval capability and the ongoing sustainability of the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise,” Minister Price said.

“This is truly a national endeavor. All states and territories have an important role in supporting the success of the Enterprise through workforce development and skills growth.

“The Morrison Government is committed to growing the Australia Defence industry.

“It is expected that by 2030 the shipbuilding sector will support about 15,000 jobs across Australia.”

South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Tasmania and Victoria have signed Cooperation Agreements, with the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland to follow.

The Naval Shipbuilding College is partnering with all levels of government, shipbuilding Prime contractors, Australian businesses, and education and training providers to help create a national shipbuilding workforce.

The College is headquartered in South Australia, and through a hub-and-spoke model has national reach to ensure a coordinated approach to workforce development.

The College’s establishment of a regional office in Western Australia, and the imminent opening of an office in New South Wales, will support its physical presence on the west and east coasts of Australia to streamline stakeholder engagement across the nation.

To find out more about the Naval Shipbuilding College, visit


Quotes from State and Territory Defence Advocates


NSW Defence Advocate, Air Marshal (Ret) John Harvey AM PhD:

“The NSW Government is pleased to be working with the Naval Shipbuilding College to develop the future skilled workforce of Australia’s naval shipbuilding and sustainment industry here in NSW.

“A Cooperation Agreement was signed earlier this year with Defence NSW. It demonstrates a strong commitment by the NSW Government to supporting Defence and Defence Industry in NSW with the provision of industry-led programs.

“The related emerging NSW Maritime Workforce Partnership is a key outcome of this collaboration with the Naval Shipbuilding College. It will support job opportunities for the engineers, electricians, fabricators, mechanics, project managers and logistics experts of tomorrow with the support of industry partners and TAFE NSW.”


WA Defence Advocate, Raydon Gates AO CSM Rear Admiral RAN (Rtd):

“This partnership demonstrates that WA is working hard to ensure collaboration at a state, and importantly, at a national level to sustain the increased demand on the local Defence Industry to build sovereign capability for present and future Defence projects.”


NT Defence and National Security Advocate, Dr Alan Dupont AO, Chairman Northern Territory Defence and National Security Advisory Group:

“The Northern Territory is pleased to join the Naval Shipbuilding College initiative which was formalised by the NT Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Defence Industry on 12 November. 

“This agreement demonstrates the Northern Territory's commitment to establishing a world class maritime industry hub and the workforce to support it.

“We welcome the Naval Shipbuilding College to the Top End and look forward to developing this important plank to our overall maritime industry development plan, which aims to grow local jobs and contribute to sovereign capability in the critical areas of training and education.”


Tasmanian Defence Advocate Rear Admiral (Rtd) Steve Gilmore AM, CSC:

“Tasmania backs the important work the Naval Shipbuilding College is undertaking to support the development of a highly skilled national workforce to deliver the Australian Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise.

“As Australia’s only island state, Tasmania has a strong shipbuilding sector that can contribute to the national shipbuilding effort.”


Victorian Defence Advocate John O’Callaghan:

“In addition to Victoria’s plans to boost its cadre of high quality, experienced engineers and other advanced technology maritime industry specialists, the Victorian Government, through the Cooperation Agreement with the Naval Shipbuilding College, will substantially assist the college to meet Australian industry’s challenging naval shipbuilding and sustainment requirements.”

Queensland Strategic Defence Advisor for Sea Rear Admiral Simon Cullen AM CSC (Ret’d):

“Queensland is willing and able to support the ADF’s plans for an expanded sovereign capability and is well placed to contribute to this due to the State’s geographical attributes, a long history with the Royal Australian Navy and a strong industry sector with a highly skilled workforce.”


Defence SA Chair, Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK AFC (Ret’d)

“Our collaboration with the Naval Shipbuilding College is a critical step towards South Australia’s vision to create a skilled, agile and robust workforce to sustain and build on our position as home to some of Australia’s most complex naval shipbuilding projects.”


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