Prime minister Tony Abbott has announced that $40 billion will be spent on building navy ships in Australia.
Alongside Kevin Andrews, the minister for defence, the PM confirmed that Adelaide would “substantially” host the build, ensuring the future of the existing South Australian infrastructure and the ongoing build of fleets in Australia.
It is the first time a national government announced a national fleet build.
Abbott said the manufacturing in Adelaide will “give us best possible ships, at best possible price”, as well as shoring up the long term security of the country and the economy.
He added that it will prevent future capability gaps in the Navy, providing a strong fleet to have the “best possible footing for the future”.
“The decisions around ship building should have been made years ago,” said Abbott.
“[But] this is a message of hope and confidence to the people of our country and the people of the state.”
The construction of offshore patrol vessels will start in 2018 and the construction of frigates in 2020.
From 2020, about 2,500 people will be employed continuously through the build.
“[It’s] good for national security, it’s good for economic security and it’s good for jobs,” he said.
“This is a fundamental new beginning for naval ship building in Australia.”
The announcement follows an federal government defence plan unveiled this morning, in which the $89 billion will be invested into ships and submarines for the navy.
The fleet build is consider the centrepiece of the defence White Paper which is due to be released later this year. It will set out the government’s plan to equip the Australian defence force to meet current and future challenges.
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