26/11/2020 - 11:00

“It’s time Canberra made a decision”: Papalia

26/11/2020 - 11:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

The state government has intensified its lobbying for full-cycle docking with a national television, newspaper and radio advertising campaign aimed at bringing the work to WA.

Paul Papalia said the state government lacked a basic timeline for when a decision on full-cycle docking would be made. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

The state government has intensified its lobbying for full-cycle docking with a national television, newspaper and radio advertising campaign aimed at bringing the work to WA.

That comes less than a week after Defence Minister Linda Reynolds, speaking at a Business News Politics & Policy breakfast, declined to say when the federal government would make a decision on if it would shift full-cycle docking of Australia’s six Collins-class submarines from South Australia to WA.

All other maintenance on the Collins-class submarines is performed in WA.

The state government has lobbied aggressively for the works since 2017, when it established Defence West for that purpose of bringing full-cycle docking of Australia’s six Collins-class submarines to WA.

Today’s announcement is aimed at making the case for WA to receive the work based on the strength of its workforce and businesses, which the state government argues would be far less stretched than in SA given that state is also undertaking separate submarine development programs.

The campaign will also argue that WA has superior infrastructure for the work; Ms Reynolds, however, said last week that the state government needed to undertake upgrades to the Australian Marine Complex, though not necessarily for the purpose of receiving full-cycle docking.

AMC is already set to receive an additional $88 million upgrade as part of the state government's COVID-19 recovery plan.

Announcing the campaign this morning, Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia criticised the federal government for the delays and said the state government now lacked a basic timeline for when a decision would be made.

“It is high time the federal government gave our industry and the defence force some certainty and a real timeframe to work towards,” he said.

“Western Australia has outlined a compelling case to secure full cycle docking.

“The submarine fleet is based here.

“We have the workforce and the industry expertise.

“We are continuing to invest in the Australian Marine Complex.

“All we need now is a decision.”

The state government estimates the value of full-cycle docking at about $8 billion, with the potential to create 3,000 jobs locally.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options