United front to pitch for defence work

Gareth McKnightSound Telegraph
Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne on a visit to WA.
Camera IconMinister for Defence Christopher Pyne on a visit to WA. Credit: The West Australian

WA politicians will adopt a bi-partisan approach on an upcoming trip to Canberra in an attempt to secure Federal Government funding for defence-related infrastructure.

WA Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia and Senator Linda Reynolds will meet Federal Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne this month, with the Labor and Liberal MPs pledging to work together for the benefit of the State.

Senator Reynolds said priorities included funding for the mapping and establishment of a load corridor from the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson through to Osborne in South Australia.

Other projects requiring funding included the upgrading of roads and power facilities at the AMC, a graving dock in Henderson and a second channel servicing both AMC and HMAS Stirling.

Senator Reynolds said WA’s defence fabrication and advanced manufacturing industries were going from strength to strength.

“As the defence industry continues to develop in WA, it is critical the WA State Government works with the Commonwealth to identify and overcome infrastructure challenges in and around the Australian Marine Complex,” she said.

Mr Papalia said Ms Reynolds had been supportive of the WA Government’s push for Federal funding and the potential for a Cockburn Sound port could arise in talks.

“We will argue much can be done in the defence industry as a way of balancing the scales for WA,” he said. “This could include potentially supporting Westport.

“Over time Westport will need dualling of the channel access to Cockburn Sound.

“Expansion of the AMC facilities is a component of Westport. The Federal Government could help fund it earlier, enable things to happen quicker and grow jobs.”

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