SA jobs boom as Osborne shipyard is completed

  • Joint media release
  • The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister
  • Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance and Leader of the Government in the Senate
26 September 2020

South Australia’s world-leading shipyard at Osborne South is now complete and ready for handover, heralding the beginning of another local jobs boom with the commencement of the $45 billion Hunter Class Frigate program.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said around 2,500 direct jobs would be created under the new Frigate program, which now starts in December when the first steel is cut for prototyping.

“Our continuous naval shipbuilding program has changed the skyline at Osborne on the Port Adelaide River but importantly it’s delivering thousands of local jobs while boosting the economy and strengthening Australia’s defence capability, the Prime Minister said.

“Founded on a $535 million investment by the Australian Government, Osborne South is now a world-leading shipyard where Australian steel comes in at one end, and state-of-the-art warships come out at the other.”

“I commend South Australia for the way in which they have managed COVID-19, particularly for keeping vitally important projects like Osborne on track and on time throughout the pandemic, providing a major boost to the local economy but also to the defence of Australia.

“As part of the our 2020 Force Structure Plan, we are now progressing the build of 23 naval vessels in South Australia, which will support the creation of more than 5,000 direct jobs, including 12 regionally superior Attack Class submarines, 9 anti-submarine warfare Hunter Class frigates, and 2 Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said while the Navy’s nine Hunter class frigates were being built in South Australia, there would be significant opportunities for industry across the country.

“This program is the cornerstone of this Government’s continuous Naval Shipbuilding Program and will provide our nation with the most advanced anti-submarine warships in the world,” Minister Reynolds said.

“The breadth and scope of building frigates here in Australia with Australian steel provides enormous opportunities for Australian businesses, creating thousands of Australian jobs.

“Already this year we have signed contracts for steel, we’ve engaged industry to provide Australian supply chain solutions, we’re skilling workers through the Diploma of Digital Technology and ASC Shipbuilding has welcomed their first intake of 18 apprentices.

“Looking ahead, ASC Shipbuilding will continue to increase Australian industry content in the Hunter Class Frigate Program in the lead up to prototyping, demonstrating our commitment to creating a skilled Australian workforce.”

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Australian Naval Infrastructure had constructed the new facilities at Osborne on time and on budget – delivering on the Government’s ongoing commitment and progress towards creating a sovereign continuous naval shipbuilding program, generating secure employment for Australian shipbuilding for generations to come.

“More than 25,000 tonnes of steel, of which over 85 per cent was locally made here in SA, was used during the build.

“At peak construction, more than 730 people worked on this project, with 97 per cent of contracts let to Australian businesses, making this a truly sovereign project.” Minister Cormann said.

Senator for South Australia and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said this was a significant milestone in South Australia’s shipbuilding history.

“This is another step forward as South Australia emerges as a powerhouse in the building of ships and subs for our defence force,” Minister Birmingham said.

“This incredible new facility will be the centre of Australia’s largest ever shipbuilding program and the centre for thousands of new jobs for South Australians.”

Over the next four months, ASC Shipbuilding will take control of the shipyard and start training their shipbuilders on the technology that has been installed for building warships efficiently and effectively.

Construction of the first of nine Hunter class frigates is expected to begin on schedule in late 2022. This ship is expected to be delivered to Navy in 2029.

The ninth and final Hunter class frigate is expected to be delivered to Navy in the mid-2040s.

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