Australia's only maritime college would become an integral defence location under federal Labor, with the opposition committing $20 million to establish the Launceston Maritime Defence, Innovation and Design Precinct.
The funding would be used for a new building at the Australian Maritime College, Newnham.
This building will form stage one of the new defence precinct, Bass Labor MHR Ross Hart, deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek, opposition Innovation, Industry, Science and Research spokesman Senator Kim Carr and opposition Defence spokesman Richard Marles will announce on Monday.
"The new precinct will turbocharge jobs in local small and medium businesses through new opportunities to participate in Australia's defence industry," Ms Plibersek said.
"As an island continent, Australia must continue to develop our world-class maritime training facilities, and the skills and the capabilities they provide Australians," she said.
Once completed, the precinct will house industry research and development resources in one place, with the specialised education and training of the University of Tasmania.
It will also present an opportunity for small and medium enterprises to be part of AMC through the precinct's proposed co-working spaces, collaborative research, shared infrastructure and access to workforce training.
New facilities at the defence precinct will house fit-for-purpose laboratories and workshops providing the technical services needed to develop hydrodynamic test rigs and models in secure environments.
These test rigs and models can then be trialled at AMC's world-class research facilities, including the Cavitation Research Laboratory, Towing Tank, Model Test Basin, Underwater Collision Research Facility and the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle facility, Ms Plibersek said.
"This is part of Labor's Charter with our science and research community to give them the very best facilities and equipment the nation can afford, so they can provide us with the very best research and answers to the problems we face."
Such a defence precinct complements Labor's plan to create a strategic merchant fleet to protect Australia's economic sovereignty and national security, she said.