South Australia confirmed as build location for new nuclear-powered submarines
March 14, 2023
Photo: Defence Connect
Defence Minister Richard Marles and Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy have confirmed that South Australia will indeed become the home for Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine construction efforts.
The Albanese government has confirmed that South Australia will be the home of Australian nuclear-powered submarine construction, helping to deliver the single greatest upgrade for our Defence capability starting this year.
This historic announcement is a unique opportunity for South Australia, which will deliver jobs and benefit the economy for generations to come — South Australian industry will see a major capability and capacity uplift as it takes its place at the forefront of one of Australia’s greatest industrial undertakings.
This will see an estimated investment in South Australia of $2 billion over the Forward Estimates — the government expects that the Submarine Construction Yard created for the construction of our next-generation nuclear-powered submarines will be almost three times larger than the yard forecast for the Attack Class program.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles welcomed the announcement, saying, “South Australia has a critical contribution to Australia’s next-generation nuclear-powered submarine program by ensuring there is a world-class facility to build and deliver this transformational capability for our nation.”
At its peak, up to 4,000 workers will be employed to design and build the infrastructure for the Submarine Construction Yard in Osborne, South Australia.
A further 4,000 to 5,500 direct shipyard jobs are expected to be created to build nuclear-powered submarines in South Australia when the program reaches its peak — almost double the workforce forecast by the former government for the Attack Class program.
“There will be thousands of jobs in South Australia to support the build of the submarine construction yard and of our Australian nuclear-powered submarine,” the Deputy Prime Minister added.
This does not include the additional jobs created in the supply chain for the construction or sustainment of submarines.
Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy expanded on the comments made by the Deputy Prime Minister, saying, “This is the greatest industrial undertaking ever for Australia. It will be transformative for South Australian industry. There will be thousands of direct jobs in constructing the shipyard and building the submarines, but also significant opportunities in the supply chains, not only of Australia, but of the United States and United Kingdom.”
Building on these comments, Foreign Affairs Minister and Senator for South Australia, Penny Wong, added, “This is an unprecedented investment in our national power and a historic investment in South Australia.”
The Albanese government will continue to work with the South Australian government through the Commonwealth South Australian Defence Industry Workforce and Skills Taskforce to deliver this multi-generational opportunity for South Australia.