Senator the Hon Marise Payne
MINISTER FOR DEFENCE
COMMISSIONING OF NUSHIP ADELAIDE
NUSHIP ADELAIDE, FLEET BASE EAST, HMAS KUTTABUL
10:40AM, FRIDAY 4 DECEMBER 2015
Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, Chief of Navy, Officers of the Armada, Commander of the Australian Fleet, commissioning crew, ladies and gentlemen.
I too would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation, and pay my respects to elders both past and present for their fine stewardship of Australia.
There are days in the life of the Royal Australian Navy which are of national significance. This is one of them.
On this day we commission into the Navy HMAS Adelaide (III).
She and her sister ship HMAS Canberra provide the Australian Defence Force, the Government and the people of Australia with a one of the most sophisticated air, land and sea amphibious deployment systems in the world.
An integrated Australian Defence Force, operating from this ship will deliver new capability advantages for Australia on a scale of which we have not had before.
These vessels will contribute directly to the defence of Australia and our interests, including the ability to provide humanitarian assistance at home and across our region.
By 2018, we will be able to generate a Maritime Task Force with a wider range of capabilities for deployment in our region in a benign or, if necessary, in a hostile environment.
Canberra and Adelaide will be command ships in that future Task Force.
They will provide the platforms from which the Australian Defence Force will be able to conduct operations as directed by the Government in the interests of Australia and our people and values.
Soon after my appointment as Minister for Defence I was fortunate to visit HMAS Canberra to see this capability first hand during exercises off Townsville. Integrating the Defence forces is a significant challenge, but one that will provide Australia with a strategic capability that is scalable and capable of complex deployments.
The Australian Defence Force will provide a stabilising influence in our region as we move into the next decade of a century which, to date, has been anything but predictable.
What we are developing is a maritime capability which will be able to operate as a coherent national task force, or as a major element – often a leading element – in an international coalition.
We will have more to say about this in our Defence White Paper, which will be released early next year.
Adelaide’s keel was laid down in Navantia’s yard in Spain in February 2011 and she was launched on 4 July 2012.
Once at the BAE Systems Australia shipyard in Williamstown, her fitting out progressed and Adelaide is now, in December 2015, ready to be commissioned into the Fleet on schedule.
That is a significant achievement and an impressive example of how Australian and international industry and Defence can work together can deliver capability successfully.
It is the result of great effort by teams of specialists in Spain and in Australia.
They are too numerous to mention here, but I thank them all for their dedication to this project and this ship.
Adelaide will serve at sea in the Royal Australian Navy for decades as a reminder of the skilled work of all those who built her in Spain and Australia.
In the coming decades the Navy will undergo its most significant period of regeneration since the Second World War.
Over the next 20 years, the Government will invest in the acquisition new submarines, frigates, offshore patrol vessels and other specialist naval vessels.
The Turnbull Government is committed to a continuous naval shipbuilding program in Australia that will allow the Navy to reach and maintain the level of capability that it will need in an increasingly complex strategic environment.
It will also provide the stability and security of work that industry need to invest in its people and infrastructure so that we can continue to stay on the cutting-edge of technology.
Adelaide will be a key enabler of the Future Fleet, which is why today is such a significant day for the Royal Australian Navy.
Finally I wish to acknowledge Commanding Officer, Captain Mandziy (Man-zee) and the men and women of the commissioning crew of HMAS Adelaide.
I can see the pride you take in your new ship.
For each of you, posting into this ship has represented a new opportunity and a new challenge.
It’s an opportunity and challenge that I know you will accept with open arms, in the best traditions of the Navy and the Australian Defence Force.
Thank you all on behalf of the Government and people of Australia for what you have achieved in preparing her for this commissioning day and for your ongoing service and dedication to our nation.
You have worked together, “United for the Common Good”, to make this day possible.
I have every confidence that in the months and years to come HMAS Adelaide will make Navy proud and make Australia