The Federal Government’s promised $4.3 billion naval berth in Henderson will seek further private investment after the Government failed to outline the project’s full funding model in the Federal Budget. The mammoth project is set to be overseen by the Commonwealth-owned Australian Naval Infrastructure and was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on March 15 when he visited WA for some early election campaigning. It was expected the funding model would be allocated in the Budget two weeks later given Defence Minister Peter Dutton said construction on the project would begin next year. But despite Mr Dutton’s comments and government sources tipping that the project’s funding model would be revealed in the Budget, it was missing. Instead, it was outlined the Government would “invest up to $4.3 billion to deliver Western Australia’s first large-vessel dry berth”. The Government has since revealed the project will not be funded solely from the public purse and that it will also seek private investment on top of its $4.3 billion contribution. A Defence spokesperson said because Australian Naval Infrastructure is a “government business enterprise”, it is able to use a funding model that has “flexibility to use other innovative non-public funding streams”. “Defence will work with Australian Naval Infrastructure to develop infrastructure and funding options for Government consideration later this year,” the spokesperson said. “There is provision in Defence’s Integrated Investment Plan to fund a return on equity or investment to ANI when Defence starts using the use facility in the late 2020s.” The dry-dock would support 2000 direct jobs when operational and 500 construction jobs during the peak of the build. Initial operations of the naval berth have been slated to start in 2028. The Henderson dock would be Australia’s second ship building facility of its kind, with the current Captain Cook Graving Dock in Sydney due for major maintenance work in the coming years. Assistant Minister for Defence Andrew Hastie said on Tuesday that the project will involve “non-public funding as well as public funding” and that Federal funding for the project falls under the Department of Defence’s Integrated Investment Program. But WA Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia says there is “no detail” in the Henderson dry-dock announcement. “The Government should provide detail of how they intend building the dock and what plans the $4.3b figure is drawn from. Why is there no money in the Budget? Who is going to pay for the project?” he said. “Also, based on the date of delivery suggested, the WA dock will not be operational when the Captain Cook Dock in Sydney closes for extended maintenance in 2026. How will the Navy deal with urgent repairs requiring docking of large vessels at that time — tow the ships to Singapore?” Defence is set to consider funding options for the dry-dock later this year.