Australian defence work represents an incredible opportunity for Western Australia. We know there is $50 billion of work on submarines alone and we have the capability, strategic location and the skilled workforce to get it done here in WA. Global defence contractor ThyssenKrupp believes our shipbuilding infrastructure in Henderson is “world-class and would be perfect for building sections of boats — or even entire submarines.”
But we are losing out because we are competing with States whose leaders advocate strongly for their defence industry. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said of the Western Australian approach, “I know for a fact that there have been companies that have been knocking on Ministers’ doors in WA over the yearsand if it didn’t have anything to do with mining, people weren’t interested.”
As a result, WA has missed enormous opportunities for its local shipbuilding industry, having only secured a tiny two percent of the naval contractson offer so far. To turn this around, we need strong leadership, and we need to learn from the States that win defence ship-building work.
A plan for WA jobs should include a comprehensive strategy to win defence ship-building contracts. This should include:
1. The appointment of a minister directly responsible for defence procurement;
2. The recruitment of high powered advocates who understand defence and Western Australia's capabilities;
3. The creation of a one stop shop for companies looking to invest in WA and the formation of tri-partite defence procurement advisory board, with representatives from government, industry and the relevant unions.
Sign our petition and download our plan for WA jobs here.