Australia Releases 35-Year, A$90 Billion Shipbuilding Plan

The Turnbull Government has released Australia’s first Naval Shipbuilding Plan, outlining the nation’s largest ever programme of naval shipbuilding and sustainment.

The plan includes a massive injection of funds - $1.3 billion - to develop vital infrastructure in the nation’s shipyards so that we can build the Navy's next generation of naval vessels here in Australia.

The Naval Shipbuilding Plan will end the boom-bust cycle that has afflicted the industry for many years, providing certainty for local businesses and shipbuilding workers.

The Turnbull Government is investing around $90 billion in the rolling acquisition of new submarines and the continuous build of major ships such as future frigates, as well as minor naval vessels.

This Plan will ensure delivery of these modern defence capabilities set out in the 2016 Defence White Paper, creating thousands of jobs and securing the naval shipbuilding and sustainment industry for future generations of Australians.

We are embarking on a great national endeavour. We will transform our naval shipbuilding and sustainment industry here in Australia, with Australian workers, in Australian shipyards, using Australian resources.

In total, the Turnbull Government will invest more than $1.3 billion to modernise construction shipyards in South Australia and Western Australia.

Work will commence this year on the development of infrastructure at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia. The Henderson Maritime Precinct in WA will also be upgraded.

This will encompass construction of new cranes and heavy lift transportation capability, welding stations and upgrades to workshops and storage facilities including new steel framed sheds.

The plan is a pathway to prosperity in naval shipbuilding and represents a major milestone for the nation’s defence industry.


The Government is delivering on its unwavering commitment to both national security and economic prosperity through the continuous building of naval vessels in Australia, while also strengthening the nation’s advanced manufacturing industrial base.

The Centre for Defence Industry Capability, opened by Government in December 2016, is based in Adelaide and has a national presence. The Centre will play a critical role in developing the national supply chains to support the naval shipbuilding programs.

Modern shipbuilding facilities and processes will play an important role in the transformation of Australia’s naval shipbuilding industry.

The naval shipbuilding workforce is expected to grow to around 5,200 workers by the mid to late 2020s, with more than double this number of workers in sustainment activities and throughout supply chains across Australia.

The Naval Shipbuilding College announced on 24 March 2017 will commence operation in early 2018, working with existing education centres to expand and develop the pool of available skilled workers to meet the growing demand.

The Naval Shipbuilding Plan is available at the Department of Defence website.

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The Turnbull government will need to spend $1.3 billion on shipyards and oversee the creation of an army of skilled workers to realise a national naval shipbuilding industry.

The Naval Shipbuilding Plan, released on Tuesday, outlines how the government will achieve one of its signature promises: the creation of a local industry that can build $89 billion worth of ships over the coming decades.

But the plan outlines the scale of the challenge, including massive upgrades of the shipyards outside Adelaide and at Henderson in Western Australia, the $1.3 billion cost of which will be borne by the taxpayer and comes on top of the price tag for ships themselves.

It also warns there will be significant challenges in raising and training a skilled workforce that will have to grow sharply from the early 2020s and which, unless centrally managed by the government, could fall short and rob other industries and the navy of vital skills.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne and Defence Minister Marise Payne will launch the plan in Adelaide on Tuesday morning.

Between now and the middle of the century, the program will turn out 12 submarines, nine frigates and 12 offshore patrol vessels, as well as 19 Pacific patrol boats to be given to neighbouring countries. The blueprint describes the naval shipbuilding program as "larger and more complex than the Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme and the National Broadband Network". (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the SMH website.

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