Navy supply contract has a price for WA businesses

DESPITE Perth’s Sealanes food supply group losing its US Navy contract to Brisbane-based Downie Jones Ship Stores, more than 90 per cent of the Americans’ recent WA food supply contract was serviced by local business.

Downie Jones Ship Stores managing director Peter Price said the food supply group, a subsidiary business of holding company Milpary Services Australia Pty Ltd, currently held US Navy contracts in NSW, Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia and had secured the $2 million WA contract in July last year.

Mr Price said the contracts ran for two years and the company would be aiming to secure food supply contracts nation-wide.

“The navy seems to be moving out of the one port, one contract approach to deal with contractors who can work over the whole of Australia,” he said.

“While we are only a small company, we are fairly mobile and have good sub-contractors around Australia. There are not many companies that have the warehouse facilities the navy requires.”

Mr Price said the company had found admirable support from WA suppliers under the trying circumstances of the festive and New Year periods. During the Christmas visit of the USS Abraham Lincoln, WA producers supplied 4000 litres of milk, 2000 loaves of bread and 1500 kilograms of lettuce each day to a crew of almost 6000 sailors.

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