The State Government has approved a multi-million dollar upgrade of its Techport facility, to expand its wharf by 22 metres and permit two Air Warfare Destroyers to berth side-by-side.
Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith said the project exemplified the State’s commitment to improve infrastructure to win naval shipbuilding contracts.
“We are fully committed to the Air Warfare Destroyer program and building the nation’s naval shipbuilding capabilities,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“The wharf extension includes an extra 11 metres at each end and enables test and activation activities for the Air Warfare Destroyer program to be conducted at Techport Australia.
The cost of extending the wharf is up to $5 million and will be funded by the Air Warfare Destroyer program.
The State Government has also developed another major upgrade plan that includes a second dry dock for shipbuilding and maintenance as well as expanded work areas to allow ships and submarines to be built concurrently.
Mr Hamilton-Smith said that contrary to reports, Techport Australia has ample space to deliver Offshore Patrol Vessels, Future Frigates and Future Submarines.
“South Australia is the natural home of shipbuilding in this country,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“Techport Australia can be readily expanded to support all three projects and we stand ready to work with the Commonwealth to deliver Australia’s next generation naval fleet.
“The State Government has already invested $250 million in Techport Australia.
“As a nation we must capitalise on this investment, not spend money elsewhere developing capabilities that already exist in South Australia.
“We have the skilled workforce ready to start work on the Offshore Patrol Vessels. Hundreds of shipbuilding workers have already lost their jobs and there will be many more to come.”
Mr Hamilton-Smith said that key decisions about Offshore Patrol Vessel and Future Submarine build locations must not be delayed.
“The industry and the workers need certainty and stability now and these important announcements must not be held off until after the election.”