Defence West to advocate for Henderson shipbuilders
The State Government has unveiled its plans to boost WA’s defence industry, with Premier Mark McGowan and Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia announcing the arrival of Defence West.
Mr McGowan and Mr Papalia made the announcement at the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson this morning.
The new body is set to prepare a defence strategy in a bid to secure the local shipbuilding industry receives a greater share of Australia’s defence contracts.
According to the Premier, a specialised Defence West office will soon be established, with a WA Defence Advocate and a panel of specialist advisers also set to be appointed to help champion the interests of WA’s defence industry with Federal Ministers, defence executives and other key stakeholders.
Mr McGowan said WA boasted an experienced shipbuilding industry with the expertise and capability to build the next generation of Navy vessels.
"WA is set to receive just 3.7 per cent of the national defence spend but the State Government will demand a bigger share of defence work for the State,” he said.
"We've identified defence as a key pillar for diversifying the State's economy and believe through strategic advocacy we can secure our fair share of the defence budget.”
A biennial Indian Ocean trade show in Perth will also be established by Defence West in a bid to promote WA’s trade capabilities.
Mr Papalia said WA’s proximity to operational areas as well as being home to the country’s largest Naval Base, HMAS Stirling on Garden Island, meant WA already played a key role in Australia’s strategic interests.
"We also have the greatest concentration of defence-related prime contractors and small to medium enterprises of any capital in Australia,” he said.
"WA has the capacity, capability and workers to undertake large contracts and Defence West will champion our assets nationally and internationally."
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