WA in line for subs work
THERE is nothing stopping WA companies competing for work on Australia’s next fleet of submarines, some 200 local firms were told last week.
In April, French company DCNS won the $50 billion inprinciple contract to build 12 submarines for the Royal Australian Navy.
The kicker for WA is that the submarines will be built in Adelaide.
It followed disappointment over WA’s share of the $40 billion federal investment in the shipbuilding industry, with the majority of the work again heading to South Australia.
At a seminar discussing technology transfer opportunities last Tuesday, DCNS’s director for strategy and communications Brent Clark said while the submarines will be assembled in Adelaide, there would be plenty of work available for WA.
“We have said all the way through this is an Australiawide enterprise,” he said.
“There is no one particular State that has a mortgage on all the work.
“There’s absolutely nothing stopping WA industry competing for everything on the submarine.”
DCNS had made contact with more than 500 companies across Australia over the past 12 months, 120 of those in WA.
Many of those companies, including heavyweight builders Austal, Civmec and BAE Systems, and local suppliers, are expected to offer their services to the project.
But Mr Clark said local companies would have to bid for work, so it is not yet clear how many of the 2900 jobs the submarine program should create will end up in WA.
It also makes estimating how much the State would benefit financially impossible at this stage.
“The industry built up here in Henderson is world class and our expectation is we’ll be able to utilise that industry quite effectively,” Mr Clark said.
State Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said the seminar demonstrated DCNS’s commitment to local business.
“WA has a lot to offer the future submarine program,” he said.
“We have a strong culture of innovation teamed with the experience and proven track record to deliver international naval shipbuilding and sustainment programs.”
Mr Mischin also used the seminar to announce 16 metropolitan small to medium-sized businesses will share $350,000 under the State Government’s Industry Facilitation and Support Program.
Brent Clark and Michael Mischin in front of the French Navy frigate Guepratte, which was docked in Fremantle to coincide with the event.