AUSTAL in Henderson is building the first of four patrol boats to be given to Papua New Guinea – a project that will generate 100 apprentice positions by the end of the year.
Nineteen 39.5m patrol boats will be given to 12 Pacific Island nations by the Australian Government to enhance practical maritime security operations across the South Pacific.
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne’s signature was welded into the hull of the first Pacific Patrol Boat vessel to be built in Henderson.
The vessel is part of the $306 million Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (PPB-R) project. Mr Pyne attended a ceremonial keel-laying on Monday, July 31.
Austal chief executive David Singleton said Austal was delivering the entire project, with the design and build to take place in Henderson and the sustainment of vessels to continue in Cairns.
“This project is anticipated to employ more than 200 people directly at Austal and hundreds more through our growing Australian supply chain, providing outstanding career opportunities for both qualified workers and apprentices across the country,” Mr Singleton said.
“We’ve already employed more than 30 new apprentices so far this year and we anticipate having 100 on board by the end of 2017.”