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What the Papers Say

Business to get ship shape

Geraldton business owners and industry professionals attended an Australian naval shipbuilding industry briefing last week to learn more about how they could get involved in the Future Frigate and Offshore Patrol Vessel programs.

The briefing last Tuesday was one of two sessions held in regional WA, with a second meeting held in Bunbury the following day.

Participants were provided with updates on the progress of the two shipbuilding programs and how they could register with the newly launched Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC).

Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price said it was exciting to see regional WA included in the early development of the programs.

"Over the last 10 years we have seen the defence sector become an economic success story, especially as the mining boom began to decline," she said. 

"I am hoping in the future the words naval shipbuilding will be heard a lot here in Geraldton." 

Federal Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said the Future Frigate and Offshore Patrol Vessel programs would directly create more than 2500 jobs for Australians and indirectly support the jobs of many thousands more.

"The CDIC is a partnership between Defence and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to support Australian industry by offering practical advice and assistance needed to work with Defence," he said.

Almost 400 businesses have registered for shipbuilding updates through CDIC's portal to date." 

The Future Frigate program will replace eight Anzac class ships with nine future frigates, while the Offshore Patrol Vessel program will replace 13 Armidale Class patrol boats with 12 offshore patrol vessels.

Construction of the offshore patrol vessels is due to begin in Adelaide in 2018.

Production will move to Henderson in WA in 2020. 

Source: Geraldton Guardian.

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