TAFE cam­pus a key part of de­fence plan

Southern Telegraph - - Front Page - Stu­art Hor­ton

South Met­ro­pol­i­tan TAFE’s Naval Base cam­pus will re­ceive a $1.5 mil­lion up­grade af­ter the State Gov­ern­ment called for ten­ders to move ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tions from Hen­der­son to the new fa­cil­ity for the 2019 aca­demic year.

The works form one of the key strate­gies in the State Gov­ern­ment’s WA De­fence and De­fence In­dus­tries Strate­gic Plan, out­lined last Tues­day by Premier Mark McGowan at the in­au­gu­ral In­doPa­cific De­fence Con­fer­ence.

The strat­egy rep­re­sents the first time a WA Gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted to a ded­i­cated de­fence and de­fence in­dus­try plan, and brings WA in line with ev­ery other State and ju­ris­dic­tion in Aus­tralia.

The key strat­egy will see the de­vel­op­ment and pro­mo­tion of WA as the prin­ci­pal lo­ca­tion for main­te­nance and sus­tain­ment for the fu­ture sub­marines and frigates, with con­tracts for the work ex­pected to ex­ceed $50 bil­lion.

“The de­fence sec­tor is worth bil­lions of dol­lars to the econ­omy and WA has been cry­ing out for a strate­gic plan to fur­ther un­lock its full po­ten­tial,” Mr McGowan said.

“WA has in­cred­i­bly strong man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, with many lo­cal com­pa­nies at the fore­front of world-lead­ing tech­nol­ogy to ser­vice the de­fence sec­tor.

“For the first time, we now have a strat­egy to build on these al­ready-es­tab­lished

strengths and cham­pion WA to se­cure a greater share of de­fence con­tracts for our State and cre­ate new op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­no­va­tion.”

Last week Fed­eral Min­is­ter for De­fence In­dus­try Steven Ciobo and WA Sen­a­tor Linda Reynolds at­tended a meet­ing of WA De­fence In­dus­try Coun­cil at Hen­der­son Mar­itime Precinct, where Mr Ciobo praised WA’s di­verse in­dus­trial ca­pa­bil­ity and ca­pac­ity for growth.

Ms Reynolds added that WA’s de­fence in­dus­try had come a long way in just over two years af­ter the sus­tained in­dus­try-led ad­vo­cacy of the de­fence coun­cil and that the

Naval Ship­build­ing Col­lege, in part­ner­ship with South Met­ro­pol­i­tan TAFE, would en­sure WA in­dus­try was not only able to de­liver projects but open new com­mer­cial ship­build­ing and ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Chair­man of the South West Group Rus­sell Aubrey ac­knowl­edged the work un­der­taken to pro­duce and es­tab­lish the strate­gic plan and said the six lo­cal gov­ern­ments within the group, in­clud­ing the cities of Rock­ing­ham and Kwinana, looked for­ward to work­ing with the State Gov­ern­ment on de­liv­er­ing parts of the strat­egy rel­e­vant to the re­gion.

“The de­fence in­dus­try is worth over a bil­lion dol­lars to the South West met­ro­pol­i­tan re­gion and sup­ports al­most 5000 jobs,” Mr Aubrey said. The works at Naval Base TAFE are ex­pected to be com­pleted by Fri­day, Jan­uary 11, 2019.

Pic­ture: Danella Be­vis

WA Premier Mark McGowan dur­ing his speech at the in­au­gu­ral Indo-Pa­cific De­fence Con­fer­ence.

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