Moving Collins class Full Cycle Docking to WA in the national interest

by WA Government News | Aug 12, 2019
  • Independent studies find moving Collins class submarine maintenance to Western Australia is in national interest
  • Full Cycle Docking program will create thousands of jobs and boost the local economy
  • Australia's shipbuilding and maintenance programs will be better balanced - spreading the significant skilled workforce needs across two states
  • The McGowan Government will continue to work collaboratively with the Commonwealth

Two independent studies into the Collins class submarine Full Cycle Docking maintenance program have found significant strategic and economic benefits of moving this work to Western Australia.

The program of works is expected to contribute an extra $600 million to the Western Australian economy each year and bring on thousands of jobs.

Premier Mark McGowan and Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia have welcomed the report findings and will continue to work collaboratively with the Federal Government to ensure the needs and requirements of the Australian Defence Force are understood and are met in Western Australia. 

Moving Full Cycle Docking to WA is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs at the program's peak and generate up to $8.4 billion to Gross State Product over the life of the program.

The PriceWaterhouseCoopers strategic study found relocating Collins class Full Cycle Docking to WA is in the national interest because it will de-risk the Attack class submarine and Hunter class frigate programs.

It would reduce the workforce pressure on South Australia, freeing up workers to concentrate on the ambitious build programs.

Moving the complete maintenance program to WA is critical in securing the Collins class capability and ensures it is not impacted in the years to come as the workforce is focused on sustainment.

The study also found the Osborne Naval Shipyard will face significant constraints, while Henderson in WA has the room for an expanded ASC facility.

The Acil Allen economic study found the WA economy would benefit significantly from Full Cycle Docking.

The key findings were released at the opening of the State's second annual Indo-Pacific Defence Conference which promotes WA's defence industry to national and international delegates.

The McGowan Government is committed to diversifying the economy and strengthening its defence capabilities.

Already the McGowan Government has created the Office of Defence West, appointed the State's first Defence Advocate and established the Defence Advisory Forum, launched the Defence and Defence Industries Strategic Plan, and opened the Defence Science Centre.

The South Metropolitan TAFE Naval Base Campus in Henderson was also established to deliver the multi-skilled workforce to build WA's naval shipbuilding, maintenance and sustainment capability, to support the needs of the Defence sector.

The State Government is working on an AMC Strategic Infrastructure and Land Use Plan.

The plan will investigate the short, medium and long term requirements of Defence to ensure WA can deliver what the nation needs.

Comments attributed to Premier and State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Mark McGowan:

"Western Australia is ready to deliver on the strategic defence needs of the nation.

"Not only is our State home to the largest naval base in Australia, HMAS Stirling, we also have a highly capable and skilled defence industry, and world-class industrial facilities.

"Moving Full Cycle Docking to Western Australia will grow the defence industry's capabilities and it is considered best practice to conduct sustainment activities alongside where the submarines are based.

"It is expected to result in hundreds of new direct jobs and will create thousands of jobs at the peak of the program - and will generate billions of dollars for our State over the life of the program.

"Securing this significant body of work for Western Australia will benefit the industry through cross-industry innovation and capability growth.

"WA has a proud history of supporting the nation's Defence requirements and my Government is committing significant resources to further build our defence industry infrastructure and workforce capacity."

Comments attributed to Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia:

"Collins class submarines will be vital to Australia's Navy for many years and Western Australia is ready to play a greater role.

"The McGowan Government is committed to ensuring the capability of the Collins class submarines is not compromised in any way.

"PwC's key findings demonstrate a strong case that moving Full Cycle Docking is in the national interest.

"Defence West is working closely with Defence to ensure WA is ready to meet the current and future needs of the nation.

"The Indo-Pacific Defence Conference is part of the McGowan Government's strategic plan to promote and grow our defence industry and I am pleased to see delegates from other states and around the world visiting Perth."

Premier's office - 6552 5000

Minister's office - 6552 5600

Both reports are available from the Defence West publications page.

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