South Australia is Australia’s Defence state, with billions of dollars of Defence projects underway, generating job opportunities across a range of professional and trade occupations.

South Australia’s Defence industry employs across the aerospace industry, land industry, systems and cyber industry and maritime industry domains.

The Adelaide based $89 billion naval shipbuilding program, headlined by the $50 billion project to build 12 new submarines, will create 8,000 jobs in South Australia over 40 years and deliver a $134.4 billion boost to Gross State Product.

Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula coordinated a visit on 2 March 2018 to the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia as part of a 2 day Adelaide workshop for local businesses from Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie to meet and greet Defence SA ‘prime’ contractors and learn more on how to make their own business Defence ready.

The booked out workshop featured 20 local businesses including Aquest Electrical, Gadaleta Steel Fabrication, Liberty OneSteel, Haylock Marine Services, Hood Sweeney, Max Cranes, Ottoway Engineering, Sudel Industries, Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec and Whyalla Hose & Fitting.

Sharing candid insights into the billion dollar Defence industry were professionals from Defence SA, Defence Teaming Centre, IDNSA, Navantia, Naval Group, CDIC, Hood Sweeney, APC Technologies, Broadspectrum, LendLease, BAE Systems, ASC, Australian Naval Industries and CPB Contractors.

RDAWEP’s goal was for current Defence industry contractors to share information on the tough and arduous path required to meet the unique specific Defence industry requirements and make long lasting connections with current Defence supply chain businesses.  Current Defence projects covered in the two day workshop included:

  • Armoured Fighting Vehicles
  • Land Combat Vehicle System Program
  • Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft
  • Jindalee Operational Radar Network
  • AP-3C Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft
  • Triton Unmanned Aircraft System
  • Future Frigates
  • Future Submarines
  • Collins Class Submarines
  • Air Warfare Destroyers
  • Project Sentinel
  • Offshore Patrol Vessels

Fostering stronger links between Upper Spencer Gulf enterprises and Northern Adelaide’s Defence Industries has been identified as a key step to leverage the formative Defence capabilities in the region.

The Defence Teaming Centre (DTC) is a nationally-focused member organisation enabling and supporting Australian industry to develop capability and increase overall competitiveness in domestic and global Defence markets.  DTC has a membership of over 250 businesses including prime defence contractors, small-to-medium enterprises, professional service providers and academic institutions that are involved in supplying supporting Defence capability.  As part of the program, Defence Teaming Centre hosted an evening networking event which was well attended by over 100 representatives from the Upper Spencer Gulf, Adelaide based defence supply chain companies and key Defence agencies.

Spokesperson for the delegation, Stephen Young from Ottoway Engineering said the visit provided great insight into the Defence supply chain and reinforced the potential for Upper Spencer Gulf.  “To see and hear first-hand the opportunities coming up in Defence in the years ahead and importantly, finding out what our Upper Spencer Gulf businesses need to do to join the supply chain was a great experience”, said Stephen.

“There was a lot of discussion amongst the group to see how they can work together to become ‘Defence ready’.  The requirements are quite comprehensive in terms of technology, communications, equipment, financials, infrastructure, personnel, quality control, safety and project management systems.”

“If we can keep building our capabilities, there are some great long-term opportunities ahead.  We have the potential to develop a really solid Defence cluster in the Upper Spencer Gulf.”

Stephen Young, Ottoway Engineering – 8212 2929
Peter Scott, Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula – 8623 0508

Offshore Patrol Vessel: Lürssen is the prime contractor for designing and building 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), with the first order being constructed at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia.



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