The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCI) commends today’s release of the State Government’s defence strategy and the Federal Government’s $200 million investment in Western Australia to build a new military oceanic survey vessel at Henderson.

This will play a significant role in priming Western Australia to take on future defence opportunities while boosting the State’s economic diversification.

Western Australia has the capability to make a substantial contribution to the nation’s defence effort, with our defence industry boasting leading, innovative companies, which continue to expand their capacity in construction and maintenance.

The State Government’s strategy to establish Western Australia as a defence maintenance hub recognises the State’s long history of being the principle maintenance location for the Royal Australian Navy’s submarines.

The Federal Government’s $200 million injection is another vote of confidence in WA’s ability to contribute to the national defence effort through our superior facilities at Henderson, which is strategically located with direct access to the Indian Ocean and HMAS Stirling.

CCI has played a key role in leading WA’s defence advocacy through our WA Defence Industry Council. The Council’s collective advocacy with the State Government has already led to:

  • WA’s Henderson industrial area being named one of Australia’s two shipbuilding hubs;

  • Secured an extra $100 million into WA’s defence infrastructure at HMAS Stirling and the Henderson strip; and

  • Helped ensure 10 of the 12 OPV vessels will be built in the State from 2020.

The WA Defence Industry Council met with Federal Minister for Defence Industry the Hon. Steve Ciobo MP and Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds yesterday to discuss WA’s future defence capability and how industry and government can work together to grow this potential.

As the provider of the Industry Capability Network (ICN) in WA, CCI provides a unique service in supporting WA SMEs to build out Australia’s defence capability across the full lifespan of major projects.

ICN is currently working with Naval Ship Management – a joint venture between Babcock and UGL Limited – to connect existing and new suppliers across Australia for their current and future work with the Australian Navy. ICN is also in contract with Lűrssen and major WA company Civmec to share opportunities for the supply and processing of the Commonwealth Government’s Offshore Patrol Vessel project. Businesses can register their interest in projects by visiting https://gateway.icn.org.au/.

CCI and the WA business community look forward to continuing to work with the Federal Government and the WA State Government, through Defence West, to further promote WA’s world-class defence capabilities and secure vital defence contracts.