Federal government's Naval Shipbuilding Plan includes Australian Maritime College as key part of supply chain

Federal MP Christopher Pyne as he visits the Australian Maritime College in Launceston. Picture: Scott Gelston
Federal MP Christopher Pyne as he visits the Australian Maritime College in Launceston. Picture: Scott Gelston

The Australian Maritime College’s high quality maritime research and training will be a strong part of the federal government’s recently-released Naval Shipbuilding Plan.

The plan, released on Tuesday, reports on the federal government’s commitment to develop a “continuous build” of up to 21 pacific patrol boats, 12 offshore patrol vessels, nine future frigates and 12 future submarines over the next few decades.

It estimates that by 2026 more than 5200 workers would be needed, not including the supply chain.

Associate Professor Jonathan Binns said having the AMC mentioned repeatedly in the plan was “a real coup” for the college and the University of Tasmania.

“I was very pleased to see the words Australian Maritime College in a few different locations here,” he said.

“There is a great recognition that the Australian Maritime College will play a large part in this national enterprise, going right up to and beyond 2040.

“We are the national centre for maritime education, research and training, and that obviously feeds into a whole range of different areas.”

Professor Binns said the AMC’s position as the only Australian university offering naval architecture and marine offshore engineering degrees meant it would be well-placed throughout the plan’s lifetime.

He said the ARC Research Training Centre for Naval Design and Manufacturing – a partnership between the AMC, the University of Wollongong and Flinders University – also saw PhD students research and resolve real-world problems in the shipbuilding industry.

“We had Minister Pyne here on May 2 and he mentioned the 5000 [jobs], and that number has been floating around for sometime,” he said.

“There’s got to be a whole range of skillsets in there.”

A new Maritime Technical College announced by Federal Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne to be developed in Adelaide will provide trade training, rather than the AMC’s research and degree focus.