Tasmania has made significant improvements in the Defence Force industry says Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.
Mr Pyne toured Devonport’s Delta Hydraulics, who recently signed a 40-year contract to be part of the sustainment and maintenance of the Collins class sonar upgrade.
Production administrator Viv Woodward said this would be the company’s second biggest customer.
“It gives Delta Hydraulics a good look into the future,” Mr Woodward said.
“A 40-year contract is a large time. Most of the people working here right now probably won’t be here in 40 years.
“Every year we put on apprentices to make sure there is a constant flow of tradesmen coming through the place and while we do that I think the future looks really bright.”
Mr Pyne said Tasmania was doing a fair share of work for the Defence Force.
“A year ago … [I] was talking about how one of the things about Tasmania was that you have a very large, small and medium enterprise-based economy that’s diffused, but the defence industry wasn’t pulled together in a way that it could be and since then the state government and the Australian Industry Defence Network here in Tasmania have pulled that group of people together.”
A 40-year contract is a large time. Most of the people working here right now probably won’t be here in 40 years.Viv Woodward
Labor senator Anne Urquhart said she felt Mr Payne’s visit to Devonport raised more questions than answers.
“Will this actually create any new jobs on the North-West Coast. Was this just a publicity stunt?” she said.
Mr Pyne was also in Tasmania to witness Thales Australia, the University of Tasmania, Australian Maritime College and AMOG Consulting sign a memorandum of understanding to investigate the establishment of a test facility for submarine and surface ship sonar systems.
The potential locations being investigated for the facility were located in Braddon and would create jobs and develop world-leading expertise for the region.
My Pyne said the contracts were for two reasons.
“Firstly investing that amount of money into our Defence Force industry and our defence capability. Secondly insisting that we do as much of it as possible here in Australia. This is a national enterprise and Tasmania is a big part of that.”