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Perth to get $4.3 billion dry dock

Manufacturing News

By Peter Roberts

The federal government has announced funding will be earmarked in the upcoming Budget for a $4.3 billion dry dock to be located at the Henderaon marine precinct (pictured) in Western Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement today in Perth, saying the new dry dock would turn Henderson into a world-class shipbuilding precinct.

It would support 2000 direct jobs when its built, and 500 during the peak of construction.

The facility would match the country’s other major dry dock at Garden Island in Sydney, and likely service Australian and allied naval vessels as well as commercial craft.

Morrison said: “This is a $4.3 billion vote of confidence in Western Australia’s shipbuilding capabilities, jobs, training and the critical role that Western Australia plays in defending Australian and powering our national economy.

“This multibillion-dollar infrastructure investment will transform the Henderson maritime precinct into a world-class shipbuilding powerhouse, and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to naval capability in the West.

“This investment in WA’s future will ensure we can build, as well as sustain larger vessels in Australia, turbocharging our national naval shipbuilding endeavour and creating thousands of job opportunities for West Australians.”

However the investment, made in the context of an election year in which the government is trailing, especially in WA, calls into question the government’s naval shipbuilding strategy now being followed.

Until this announcement Adelaide was the government’s centre for large ship naval construction and Perth the centre for smaller vessels.

The creation of a large ship construction complex, especially one of these proportions looks like the creation of two large shipbuilding sites.

Does Australia really need, or can we justify two major shipbuilding sites?


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