South Australian crossbench Senator Rex Patrick said he was concerned local contractors may be missing out on work. The $35 billion Hunter-class Frigate will be built in South Australian ship yard.
Concerns are being raised that local businesses may be excluded from taking part in the $35 billion project to build a fleet of nine new warships for the Royal Australian Navy.
The GDC has learned a senior defence department official has flown to the United Kingdom to emphasise the need for Australian industry to take a central role in constructing the British-designed Hunter class frigates.
Last week Defence Minister Linda Reynolds warned the French company building Australia’s $80 billion future submarines that the government would hold it to account on its commitments to local suppliers.
“The Defence Department confirmed head of national naval shipbuilding Tony Dalton is meeting with his UK Ministry of Defence counterpart as part of a routine program of engagement to support the delivery of the Hunter class frigate program,” the Department told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“While in the UK, Mr Dalton will also meet with key industry representatives from BAE Systems and Thales UK.”
In a statement BAE Systems Australia said it had “worked in Australia for over 65 years and as a result have gained a solid understanding of the capability of local industry”.
“This provides us with the confidence that we will be able to achieve well north of 60 percent Australian Industry Content over the life of the Hunter Class Frigate Program,” the spokesperson said.
“Supporting and investing in the capability of Australia’s defence industry is critical to our goal and that of the Commonwealth, which is to put in place a sovereign shipbuilding industry.
Defence Department said construction on the $35 billion future frigate program was on track begin this year.
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