Title New Customs fleet to be built in Australia
Database Press Releases
Date 11-05-1998
Source Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs
Citation Id 2014HNC04151775
In Government no
Major subject TRUSS, Warren
MP yes
System Id media/pressrel/2014HNC04151775


New Customs fleet to be built in Australia

Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs Deputy Leader of the House

The Hon. Warren Truss, MR

11 May, 1998 NEW CUSTOMS FLEET TO BE BUILT IN AUSTRALIA

Western Australian ship builder Austal Ships Pty Ltd has been awarded a $58.4 million contract to build and maintain a new fleet of Customs vessels, the Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs, Warren Truss, announced today.

Mr Truss said the decision to fund a new sea-going fleet for the Australian Customs Service demonstrates the Federal Government’s commitment to the Tough on Drugs strategy.

“ Austal Ships will build eight 35 metre aluminium-hulled vessels capable of operating around Australia’s coastline and out to the edge of our 200-nautical mile Economic Exclusion Zone,” Mr Truss said.

“ These vessels will replace the current fleet of six smaller vessels, which will be progressively sold as the new fleet becomes operational.”

The decision to replace the fleet was announced in the May 1997 Budget and Customs expects to take delivery of the first of the new vessels by March 1999.

“ The vessels will have greater capacity to protect Australia’s 37,000 kilometre border and to carry out Customs duties and work undertaken on behalf of other Commonwealth agencies, such as the Federal Police, Department of Immigration, Environment Australia and Australian Fisheries Management Authority,” Mr Truss said.

The Minister said the high standard of submissions from the leading contenders to build the new vessels highlights the quality offered by Australian specialist shipbuilders. Customs undertook an extensive evaluation process of all tenders before deciding on the Austal bid.

“ The Customs project team was augmented by financial expertise from the Department of Finance and Administration, legal advice from the Attorney-General’s Department, technical advice from the Navy and an independent naval architect, as well as analysis by an Australian National University expert in measuring cost-effectiveness," Mr Truss said.

“ In the final analysis, Austal’s proposal represented the best value for money for the Commonwealth. I am pleased that the contract has been awarded to an Australian manufacturer with a well earned reputation as an innovative designer and builder of lightweight vessels using cutting-edge technology.”

The new vessels will be named after bays in each State and Territory.

MEDIA INFORMATION PACKS ARE AVAILABLE

Contact: Ref: CMR

Andrew Hall — Media Adviser — 02 6277 7790 0419 996 766 Email: ahall@distgov.au Web sites: w w w .distgov.auw w w .custom s.gov.au