Civmec shores up future

Gareth Parker and Aiden BoyhamSound Telegraph
Civmec chairman James Fitzgerald, Defence managing director Mike Deeks and Civmec chief executive Pat Tallon at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Camera IconCivmec chairman James Fitzgerald, Defence managing director Mike Deeks and Civmec chief executive Pat Tallon at the groundbreaking ceremony. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper

Henderson-based engineering services company Civmec has finished the year on a high, after breaking ground on a new state-of-the-art shipbuilding facility.

The new $80 million project is aimed at winning a share of the Federal Government’s $195 billion naval construction program.

It will be financed by Civmec under its Forgacs Marine and Defence Subsidiary, which has an extensive history of defence shipbuilding in New South Wales and will employ up to 1000 people once it is fully operational.

The investment in the 20-storey shed means Civmec is betting on itself to beat rival Henderson shipbuilder Austal to win a big slice of the $3 billion offshore patrol vessel program allocated to WA, as well as the $50 billion submarine program.

Amid a soaring unemployment rate and after months of headlines chronicling downsizings and lay-offs, Colin Barnett was able to claim a rare jobs victory. “It’s a very big step forward for the shipbuilding industry, part of an increasing diversification of the WA economy, and very good news for people seeking jobs,” Premier Barnett said.

Forgacs managing director Mike Deeks said the company would use a “very active” training program to harness the trade skills learnt by workers in the resource industry.

The company expects to employ up to 100 apprentices.

Shadow minister for local jobs, training and workforce development Fran Logan described it as a “really, really great announcement for WA”.

But he said Mr Barnett had missed an opportunity at the VIP-heavy ceremony last Friday to lobby the Federal Government and WA Senator Linda Reynolds to build a $200 million second floating dock at the Australian Marine Complex.

It is widely accepted in industry across the political divide that expanding the floating dock facilities at Henderson is needed to maximise the AMC’s opportunities.

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