Naval Base: new Austral shipbuilding facility opened

WA Attorney General Michael Mischin, Austal chief executive David Singleton and Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne at the launch of Austal’s new Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement facility in Naval Base, a short distance from its current production base in Henderson.
WA Attorney General Michael Mischin, Austal chief executive David Singleton and Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne at the launch of Austal’s new Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement facility in Naval Base, a short distance from its current production base in Henderson.

IT does its best work crafting large water vessels but Henderson-based firm Austal has shown a bit of finesse after transforming an old steel fabrication facility built during the mining boom into a base for a $306 million shipbuilding program.

Federal Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne visited Naval Base this morning to cut the ribbon on the new construction hub on Hope Road, a move Austal chief executive David Singleton said signalled the start of its steel naval shipbuilding capability.

The 10,500sq m facility will be used to build 19 40m Pacific Patrol boats, which will be gifted to 12 island nations as part of Australia’s Pacific Maritime Security Program.

Construction on the vessels will begin in April, with deliveries to take place between 2018 and 2023.

Sustainment of the new fleet will be carried out at Austal facilities in Queensland.

Mr Singleton said 207 jobs would be created.