The Hon. Jason Clare MP
Minister for Defence Materiel.
The largest Defence project in South Australia, the construction of three new warships, took another step forward today with the official opening of its new headquarters.
Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare was joined by Premier of South Australia Mike Rann to open the Air Warfare Destroyer Systems Centre at Techport Australia - South Australia’s world class naval shipbuilding precinct.
Mr Clare said the construction of the three new Air Warfare Destroyers was one of the largest naval shipbuilding projects ever undertaken in Australia.
“These will be the most powerful and advanced warships Australia has ever had. They will be built here in Australia, creating about 3,000 jobs,” Mr Clare said.
“The opening of the Systems Centre marks an important milestone in the project.
“It brings together 300 expert naval architects, project managers and combat systems engineers under one roof to get on with the job of delivering Australia’s new warships.”
Mr Clare said it was a significant investment in skills and jobs for South Australia.
“The project will see an investment of about $2 billion here in South Australia and that means jobs,” Mr Clare said.
“Today more than 800 people are working on the new Air Warfare Destroyers here at the Techport precinct, and that number will reach more than 1,000 in 2012.
“There are 130 people working on building the ships at the ASC shipyard like boilermakers and welders including twenty apprentices.
“We’ve worked closely with the South Australian Government and I want to thank the Premier for the work he has done to develop this state-of-the-art facility.”
Mr Rann said South Australian companies were already benefitting from the construction of the Ships and the new facility.
“This facility delivers on the South Australian Government’s vision to make this Australia’s premier naval shipbuilding hub,” Mr Rann said.
“We’re very proud of the facility and of the exciting work South Australian companies are doing here.
“This facility presents a fantastic opportunity for South Australia to become Australia’s premier naval shipbuilding State.
“That means Defence jobs and the flow-on opportunities that come with them.
“For example, a local South Australian company Tagara Builders built the Systems Centre, providing jobs for more than 150 people during construction.
“Our State has developed, and proudly maintains, a reputation for delivering world-class defence projects, and is now home to more than a quarter of the nation’s defence industry.
“We are focused on growing our defence presence, and on building a sustainable defence industry, including delivering the $300 million State-owned, world-class infrastructure here at Techport Australia - the nation’s premier naval industry hub.
“South Australia’s defence sector now employs around 25,000 people directly and indirectly, with the strongest jobs growth taking place in shipbuilding and repair, led by the AWD project.”
Mr Clare also announced the contract to blast and paint Australia’s three new Air Warfare Destroyers had been awarded to Transfield Services (Australia) Pty Ltd.
“This is great news for Australia’s defence industry and yet another important step forward in delivering the Air Warfare Destroyers,” Mr Clare said.
“The contract with Transfield Services is worth more than $35 million and will create jobs for more than 60 people over the next six years.
“Transfield will do paintwork on the blocks of the ship built by the ASC shipyard, and then will blast and paint the complete ships when they are assembled on the Government of South Australia’s Common User Facility.”
The $8 billion Air Warfare Destroyer project will deliver three warships to the Royal Australian Navy; the HMAS Hobart, HMAS Brisbane and HMAS Sydney.
Media contact: Korena Flanagan (Minister Clare’s Office) – 02 6277 7620
Lachlan Parker (Premier Rann’s office) – 0417 810 890
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