THE Western Australian Government is renewing its push to boost the state’s marine services sector by lodging a business case with Canberra for the Full Cycle Docking of the Navy’s Collins class submarines at Henderson.
The government has also launched a $500,000 multi-media ‘Join the Mission’ campaign to rouse public support for a plan it says will create 3,000 jobs and add $8Bn to the local economy.
The Federal Government wants to centralise submarine maintenance at its wholly-owned Australian Submarine Corporation at Osborne, Port Adelaide despite claims ASC facilities and the South Australian workforce will be overstretched in building nine Hunter class frigates and 12 Attack class submarines.
WA Premier Mark McGowan says the business case builds on a PriceWaterhouseCoopers study released last month that found moving the FCD work to WA would be “in the national interest”.
If successful, the Government says it is willing to build a new wharf, upgrade support facilities, improve traffic flows and parking at the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson, upgrade transfer paths required for submarine maintenance, and further invest in workforce training through South Metropolitan TAFE.
In order to meet future Defence and industry needs and to attract private investment that will help expand the ASC facility at Henderson, the state is also willing to invest in further infrastructure such as a ship lift and a graving dock. The WA Government is also supportive of the zoning of a defence precinct in the AMC which will include security buffers.
“The business case reflects Western Australia’s capability and commitment. We want to act in the national interest, our industry is internationally competitive and have what it takes to deliver the full maintenance schedule,” Mr McGowan said.
“The submarines are based here at Garden Island so its operationally and logistically sensible to have the full maintenance of the subs undertaken locally.”