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Labor's commitment to the South Australian defence industry

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Campaign Media Release

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

Senator for South Australia Penny Wong

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith

Minister for Defence Materiel Mike Kelly


The Rudd Labor Government today underlined its commitment to the shipbuilding industry in South Australia.

This industry is critical to Australian jobs and skills, to innovation, to the national economy and to the long-term capabilities of the Australian Defence Force.

Federal Labor has been consistent about its commitment to assemble 12 Future Submarines in Adelaide.

This is the largest and most complex Defence project ever undertaken in Australia.

It is a design, construction and sustainment challenge of unprecedented scale and complexity. It will span decades and generate thousands of jobs.

The Federal Labor Government this year established the Land Based Test Site in Adelaide - a significant new facility for testing submarine systems, including propulsion, energy and integration technology. It was decided this site would be based in Adelaide as this is where the Future Submarines will be assembled.

In May, the Government released the Future Submarine Industry Skills Plan -an outline for how Defence and the Australian shipbuilding industry - from designers, system developers and construction companies - can plan to meet this challenge.

Also in Adelaide, work on the current Air Warfare Destroyer construction program is expected to be completed around mid-2019.

This is a $7.9 billion project and is delivering significant benefits to South Australia’s economy. It is one of the most significant shipbuilding projects in Australia’s history.

It will result in the delivery of three HOBART Class Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD) to the Royal Australian Navy. The AWDs will provide air defence against attacking missiles and aircraft. With a range of 5,000+ nautical miles, they protect land forces and infrastructure in near coastal areas as well as other ships.

The Rudd Labor Government also announced today that it would bring forward the acquisition of two new supply ships for the Australian Navy to 2015-16 to replace the Navy’s existing and aging supply ships, HMAS Success and HMAS Sirius. The Government will, as a minimum, commit to a hybrid build for one of these Navy supply vessels. Firms in South Australia will be able to bid for contracts relating to this work.

We have committed to building or assembling over 40 naval vessels over the next 20 years. This commitment provides huge opportunities for large, medium and small businesses and shipyards across Australia, including in South Australia.

Federal Labor have established an Australian Innovation Partnership in Manufacturing Excellence with headquarters in Melbourne and an affiliated centre in Adelaide focussing on defence manufacturing - a major initiative to strengthen the defence industry in South Australia.

This Partnership will bring together major players such as BAE Systems, Thales, research institutions and small to medium enterprises. It will build the capability of Adelaide’s defence manufacturing industry, providing access to project funding and linking firms with vital research infrastructure, boosting the productivity of the sector and supporting new jobs.

The Australian Innovation Partnerships are part of the $1 billion Plan for Australian Jobs - a program the Coalition does not support and will cut if given the opportunity to do so. Federal Labor is investing over $500 million to establish Innovation Partnerships across Australia. All Partnerships will have access to a competitive, merit-based Industry Collaboration Fund to support large scale projects. The amount of funding available for individual projects will range from between $100,000 to $10 million per year.

The defence industry in South Australia is concentrated in three main locations:

 Techport Australia in Port Adelaide.

 Edinburgh Parks in Wakefield.

 Technology Park in Makin.

Defence has a significant presence in South Australia. The state is home to eight major defence establishments, including in Wakefield, Mayo, Adelaide, Boothby, Grey and Barker. The Rudd Labor Government committed $15.3 million in 2013-14 for major defence capital facilities projects in South Australia.

The Government annually contributes in excess of $2 billion to Defence personnel, equipment, services and facilities in South Australia. Over 7,700 Defence personnel are based in South Australia.


Communications Unit: T 03 8625 5111

Authorised by G. Wright, Australian Labor Party, 5/9 Sydney Avenue, Barton, ACT, 2600