Australian government has signed a $12 million contract with a Nowra business that is providing crucial search and rescue services at HMAS Albatross, securing the jobs of the company’s 50 employees. OPSTAR Pty Ltd’s contract ensures Navy personnel at HMAS Albatross continue to have access to world-leading search and rescue services. Those services include aviation emergency response, first response medical treatment and extraction and recovery services both day and night.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the contract was a testament to the strength of the defence industry in Nowra and the wider NSW South Coast region. “OPSTAR has been instrumental in developing the search and rescue capability to prepare for a wide variety of potential incidents that may occur at HMAS Albatross and associated training areas,” Price said. “This contract will ensure that our Navy personnel receive crucial emergency response services if and when they need. It is further evidence of the Morrison Government’s support of small and medium businesses in our defence industry.”

The contract will allow OPSTAR to continue providing aviation emergency response and land based rescue services at HMAS Albatross until mid-2023, with the option of two one-year extensions.

“The government is committed to supporting our local defence industry and this contract recognises OPSTAR’s exceptional performance and dedication to Defence,” Price said. “OPSTAR employs nearly 50 employees in the Nowra region and these jobs have been secured as a result of this contract.”

Senator for New South Wales Jim Molan said this was an important investment to help build and maintain Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities, but more importantly, saving lives. “The Morrison Government is investing in the best possible capability for our defence industry, and it is great that a local business will be playing a leading role in search and rescue operations for Navy personnel in Nowra,” Molan said. “This contract will not only facilitate essential emergency response services, but also continue to support local jobs and support families in my electorate of Gilmore.”

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