South Australia’s naval shipbuilding capabilities will be showcased to a global audience at the PACIFIC 2015 international maritime exhibition in Sydney this week.
Premier Jay Weatherill and the Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith will lead a South Australian defence industry delegation to PACIFIC 2015, reinforcing the state’s position as the national centre of naval shipbuilding.
“South Australia will press the state’s case for our shipbuilding industry, most importantly securing a local build for Australia’s Future Submarines,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“The Future Submarine program provides an immediate opportunity to shape our future – to encourage innovation, create jobs, growth, and strengthen national security.
“South Australia stands ready to partner with the Federal Government, industry and academia to ensure the successful delivery of this critical Defence capability – a nation defining project.”
Mr Hamilton-Smith said during the week he will meet with senior Defence leaders, all three Future Submarine bidders as well as international shipbuilders likely to compete for the Future Frigate and Off-shore Patrol Vessel programs, promoting the state’s credentials.
“The strong South Australian presence at PACIFIC 2015 is a continuation of our intensive and long-running campaign to secure major naval projects for the state,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“South Australia has an established industrial base, world-class facilities and skilled workforce, centred at Techport Australia; our naval shipbuilding capability is world class.
“The Federal Government must extend its recent commitment to a continuous build of surface ships to include submarines.
“An overseas or hybrid build would be a significant blow for South Australia’s economy – a local build is the only option which would ensure a sustainable industry.
“The number of ships and submarines built in Australia must be sufficient to ensure a continuous build of both and must target maximum local industry involvement, to truly set the industry up for long-term success.
“Defence strategists have argued successfully that Defence requires 12 submarines – only 12 will provide Australia’s naval shipbuilding industry with a continuous build.”
South Australia’s delegation at PACIFIC 2015 includes 18 local defence companies, members of the Defence SA Advisory Board including Chairman, Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston, Defence SA and Defence Teaming Centre representatives.