The Australian government will invest up to $4.3 billion to deliver Western Australia’s first large-vessel dry berth, creating a world-class precinct at the Henderson shipyard and supporting thousands of local jobs. The Henderson dry-dock will enable the construction and sustainment of large naval vessels in Australia and support an even stronger commercial shipbuilding and sustainment market in Western Australia.
Government-owned Australian Naval Infrastructure will oversee the design and build of this nation building infrastructure, with work to start in 2023 and initial operations to commence in 2028. The Commonwealth will work closely with the Western Australian Government and industry to develop a comprehensive master plan for the defence precinct at Henderson to ensure this investment fully supports our national naval shipbuilding enterprise effectively.
This project is likely to create at least 500 direct construction jobs at its peak and thousands more through local sub-contracts and the national supply chain. Once completed, this infrastructure will help support at least 2,000 direct shipbuilding jobs at Henderson, particularly as continuous naval shipbuilding in Western Australia comes to fruition as part of the national naval shipbuilding enterprise.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that Western Australia was a central pillar to the Government’s commitment to growing sovereign capabilities and turbocharging our national naval shipbuilding. “This is a $4.3 billion vote of confidence in Western Australia’s shipbuilding capabilities, jobs, training and the critical role that Western Australia plays in defending Australian and powering our national economy,” the prime minister said. “This multi-billion dollar infrastructure investment will transform the Henderson maritime precinct into a world-class shipbuilding powerhouse, and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to naval capability in the West. This investment in WA’s future will ensure we can build, as well as sustain larger vessels in Australia, turbocharging our national naval shipbuilding endeavour and creating thousands of job opportunities for West Australians. Henderson, HMAS Stirling and Fleet Base West all form a key part of our maritime capability and our nation’s security, particularly given the strategic importance of the Indian Ocean, and will continue to do so for decades to come.”
Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said the project builds on the Government’s previous $1.5 billion commitment to infrastructure improvements at HMAS Stirling and the Henderson maritime precinct.
“The Morrison Government is committed to delivering the sovereign shipbuilding outcomes outlined in the 2020 Force Structure Plan and the 2017 National Naval Shipbuilding Plan, and Western Australia is central to them,” Dutton said. “This decision will ensure that we can meet the Navy’s future requirements as we undertake the enormous investments in the maritime capabilities we need to keep our nation safe in the decades ahead.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the investment would generate economic and jobs growth in Western Australia, building sovereign defence industry in the region, with Australian industry requirements being built in from the beginning. “This is a significant infrastructure project that Australian industry is already supporting through concept work and there will be significant future job opportunities for Australian industry throughout design and construction, and once it’s up and running,” Price said. “The project will build the capacity and capability of sovereign defence industry in the region, particularly in the advanced manufacturing sector, with Australian Industry Capability requirements in contracting arrangements. The infrastructure will also support Defence’s $90 million Regional Maintenance Centre due to be operational in Henderson in the second half of 2022 to enable a level of maintenance to be conducted on all surface fleet units and creating 40 jobs.”
Minister for Finance Simon Birmingham said that utilising Australian Naval Infrastructure for the design and build of this advanced facility would be crucial to maintaining sovereignty in our shipbuilding and sustainment infrastructure. “Using ANI as our partner in the Henderson dry dock ensures we capture their experience from the Osborne Shipyard and maintain maximum sovereignty and flexibility in design, construction and management of this future facility in the decades to come,” Birmingham said.