United front to pitch for de­fence work

Southern Telegraph - - News - Gareth McKnight

WA politi­cians will adopt a bi­par­ti­san ap­proach on an up­com­ing trip to Can­berra in an at­tempt to se­cure Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment fund­ing for de­fence-re­lated in­fra­struc­ture.

WA De­fence Is­sues Min­is­ter Paul Pa­palia and Sen­a­tor Linda Reynolds will meet Fed­eral Min­is­ter for De­fence In­dus­try Christo­pher Pyne this month, with the La­bor and Lib­eral MPs pledg­ing to work to­gether for the ben­e­fit of the State.

Sen­a­tor Reynolds said pri­or­i­ties in­cluded fund­ing for the map­ping and es­tab­lish­ment of a load cor­ri­dor from the Aus­tralian Marine Com­plex in Hen­der­son through to Os­borne in South Aus­tralia.

Other projects re­quir­ing fund­ing in­cluded the up­grad­ing of roads and power fa­cil­i­ties at the AMC, a grav­ing dock in Hen­der­son and a sec­ond chan­nel ser­vic­ing both AMC and HMAS Stir­ling.

Sen­a­tor Reynolds said WA’s de­fence fab­ri­ca­tion and ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­tries were go­ing from strength to strength.

“As the de­fence in­dus­try con- tin­ues to de­velop in WA, it is crit­i­cal the WA State Gov­ern­ment works with the Com­mon­wealth to iden­tify and over­come in­fra­struc­ture chal­lenges in and around the Aus­tralian Marine Com­plex,” she said.

Mr Pa­palia said Ms Reynolds had been sup­port­ive of the WA Gov­ern­ment’s push for Fed­eral fund­ing and the po­ten­tial for a Cock­burn Sound port could arise in talks.

“We will ar­gue much can be done in the de­fence in­dus­try as a way of bal­anc­ing the scales for WA,” he said. “This could in­clude po­ten­tially sup­port­ing West­port.

“Over time West­port will need du­alling of the chan­nel access to Cock­burn Sound.

“Ex­pan­sion of the AMC fa­cil­i­ties is a com­po­nent of West­port. The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment could help fund it ear­lier, en­able things to hap­pen quicker and grow jobs.”

This could in­clude po­ten­tially sup­port­ing West­port. Paul Pa­palia

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