THE DEPARTMENT of Defence today called for stakeholders to have their say on how marine support services should be delivered in the future.
Minister for defence industry Christopher Pyne today (20 August) announced the release of a request for information for the Defence Marine Support Services (DMSS) Program.
This program includes services such as tugs for port movements; harbour refuelling; transport services between ships; stores and personnel transfer; and aviation training.
The DMSS Program will commence in 2021 and will initially deliver marine support to Navy’s fleet in ports across Australia, including supporting exercises, operations and workforce training.
Minister Pyne said this innovative approach will allow Australian defence industry to work together to develop creative contracting options to enable capability delivery at sea.
“This is about thinking outside the square to deliver a long-term and flexible solution for Defence and industry,” he said.
“Instead of just contracting one large prime to do all the work, perhaps the best option is engaging multiple smaller companies.”
Once options have been received, the Department of Defence plans to work with industry to develop a contracting model which ensures support services remain up-to-date.
“This approach will shape a new way of doing business to ensure marine support services are adaptive to evolving requirements.”
The announcement was applauded by Maritime Industry Australia (MIAL), saying it would pave the way for a new era of marine industry activity in Australia.
MIAL CEO Teresa Lloyd said the announcement set the country on a course for success and growth as a great maritime nation with strong regional presence.
“The DMSS Program presents a strong strategic vision for collaboration between our merchant marine and defence and government services,” she said.
MAIL pointed out that the Australian maritime industry is a dynamic and diverse sector that includes businesses already heavily invested in providing the kinds of support services the DMSS calls for.
“Servicing the needs of the defence and government sector is second nature to many maritime businesses,” the MIAL statement reads. “As an industry we have a proud history of working together and supporting our nation’s needs.”