DCNS tells WA forum there will be opportunities for work on new submarine fleet


Brent Clark, DCNS’s Australian director for strategy and communications, with Commerce Minister Michael Mischin in front of the French Navy frigate Guepratte, which docked in Fremantle to coincide with the event. Picture: Bryce Luff
Brent Clark, DCNS’s Australian director for strategy and communications, with Commerce Minister Michael Mischin in front of the French Navy frigate Guepratte, which docked in Fremantle to coincide with the event. Picture: Bryce Luff

THERE is nothing stopping WA companies competing for work on Australia’s next fleet of submarines some 200 local firms have been told today.

In April, French company DCNS won the $50 billion in principle contract to build 12 new submarines for the Royal Australian Navy.

At a seminar discussing technology transfer opportunities today, DCNS’s director for strategy and communications Brent Clark said while the submarines will be assembled in South Australia, there would be plenty of work available for WA.

“We have said all the way through this is an Australia-wide enterprise,” he said.

“There’s no one particular state that … has a mortgage on all the work.

“There’s absolutely nothing stopping WA industry competing for everything on the submarine.”

Mr Clark said DCNS had made contact with more than 500 companies across Australia over the last 12 months, with 120 of those in WA.

Many of those companies, including heavyweight builders Austal and Civmec, and local suppliers, are expected to offer their services to the project.

“The industry built up here in Henderson is world class and our expectation is we’ll be able to utilise that industry quite effectively,” Mr Clark said.

Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said the seminar, which followed others in Melbourne and Adelaide, demonstrated DCNS’s commitment to local businesses.

“(WA) has a lot to offer the future submarine program,” he said.

“We have a strong culture of innovation teamed with the experience and proven track record to deliver international naval shipbuilding and sustainment programs.”

The submarine program should create 2900 jobs across the country.

Mr Mischin also used the seminar to announce 16 metropolitan small to medium-sized businesses will share $350,000 under the State Government’s Industry Facilitation and Support Program.

The funding can be used to purchase new equipment and upgrade facilities to ensure companies are in good shape to bid for defence contracts.