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New South Wales naval shipbuilding industry given guidance for the future.

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MEDIA RELEASE Senator the Hon. Robert Hill Minister for Defence Leader of the Government in the Senate


29 Aug 2002 MIN 435/02



New South Wales naval shipbuilding industry given guidance for the future


The New South Wales Defence industry has been given crucial guidance about the future of the naval shipbuilding and repair sector with today’s release of the Department of Defence’s strategic plan, Defence Minister Robert Hill said.

Senator Hill said the location of future naval ship construction was not specified in the plan because such decisions would be left to industry.

"However, the plan does provide a clear indication of the Government’s future maritime needs, enabling the industry to plan with more certainty," Senator Hill said.

The Naval Shipbuilding and Repair Sector Strategic Plan will be considered by Cabinet in the near future.

The plan provides Government with expert advice, developed in consultation with key industry representatives, on safeguarding Australia’s strategic maritime capabilities through building a sustainable future for the industry.

"The Government announced its intention in October last year to adopt a more strategic industry approach by developing structured, long-term commercial relationships with a small number of Australian industry players rather than awarding all contracts on a project-by-project basis," Senator Hill said.

"This plan articulates the need for this reform. I am releasing it publicly in the interests of open Government."

The shipbuilding sector plan links strategically important industry skills and capabilities to expected Defence demand for acquisition and in-service support.

A fundamental element of the shipbuilding sector plan is the need for a sustainable, longer-term major surface ship capability in Australia.

"NSW has a wealth of experience in supporting and upgrading the Navy’s fleet based there," Senator Hill said. "It is important that these skills and capabilities are not lost as the industry restructures.


Media contact: Minister’s office Catherine Fitzpatrick 02 6277 7800 or 0405 351 245

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