The South Australian construction sector is set to benefit from a $50 billion contract awarded this week to French firm DCNS by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The contract, which will deliver 12 new submarines to the Australian navy, was awarded to DCNS as the preferred international partner, with the contract subject to further discussions on commercial matters, Turnbull said on Tuesday.
All 12 subs will be built in Adelaide, securing thousands of jobs, the PM said.
“Along with our recent naval shipbuilding announcements, the commitment to an Australian build will create a sustainable Australian naval shipbuilding industry and provide the certainty that industry requires to invest in innovation and technology and grow its workforce,” Turnbull stated.
“This $50 billion investment will directly sustain around 1,100 Australian jobs and a further 1,700 Australian jobs through the supply chain.”
DCNS overcame competing bids from TKMS of Germany, and the Japanese Government.
Next Turnbull says the government will conduct a strategic review of the workforce, skills and infrastructure needed to deliver the subs.
“The Turnbull Government will maximise Australian industry involvement in the program and will work closely with DCNS to identify opportunities for local businesses to integrate into the supply chain,” the PM said in a statement.
DCNS chairman and chief executive Herve Guillou was understandably pleased with the news.
“This success has been made possible thanks to the strong teamwork between the French Authorities, DCNS and our industrial partners,” Guillou said.
“France and Australia have been allies for more than 100 years and we look forward to further strengthening this time honoured relationship and honouring the trust the Australian Commonwealth Government is placing in us for this ground-breaking project.”
Shadow infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese on Adelaide radio on Wednesday said the announcement was good news for the South Australian economy, but argued that it only served to offset “the failure of the feds to defend the [local] car industry”.
On the same program, Coalition minister for industry, Christopher Pyne, fired back: “We’ve made more decisions in the last six weeks than you made in six years around shipbuilding. [You] made none at all.”