One of the first election commitments for this campaign was from federal Labor supporting the Australian Maritime College's expansion plan.
The AMC has been working to develop its proposal for a defence precinct since the news emerged that the University of Tasmania would move its campus from Newnham to Inveresk.
The move would allow more land to be unlocked and be developed into a state-of-the-art defence precinct, to help position AMC to take advantage of the federal government's ambitious naval shipbuilding plan.
What is a 'defence precinct'?
While details about what the defence precinct will look like physically on the Newnham campus are still scant, the defence precinct would aim to bring AMC into a more future-focused space.
A naval shipbuilding plan has been supported by both major parties, with each having its own vision for the defence future capability of Australia.
So, in order for AMC, the national training organisation for maritime industries, to take advantage of this focus, it was necessary for AMC to look to how it would work with industry to provide the workforce.
AMC principal Shuhong Chai said the college played a unique role in the cultural, social and economic fabric of Launceston but the tide was soon to turn on the facility, with the potential for a brighter future.
"AMC employs about 200 staff members, many of whom are from culturally diverse backgrounds representing 37 countries from across the globe," she said.
"The college's student profile is diverse, with its international cohort makeup of students from 55 countries who relocated to Launceston to complete their studies."
With the imminent move of the University of Tasmania's Newnham campus to Inveresk, the AMC has needed to consider its future with a separate identity to the university.
Professor Chai said one of the challenges the AMC had faced in the past decade was constriction of space.
"The AMC's footprint has remained largely unchanged since merging with the university in 2008," Professor Chai said.
"To meaningfully expand its world-class research and development programs to support defence priorities to benefit Australia's sovereign capability in the naval domain, a strategic investment is required."
As part of UTAS' ambitious Northern Transformation plan, the idea for a defence innovation hub for AMC was formed, with a business case lodged with the federal government late last year.
How will it work?
Academically speaking, the defence precinct is designed around three key focuses: naval systems and assets, remote sensing and human systems.
With a federal government naval shipbuilding plan a key priority, the AMC needed to ensure it was able to meet the needs of the industry, by providing training that will sustain the naval fleet now and in the future.
Associate Professor Jonathan Binns said providing services to maintain naval systems on ships was key.
"Sustaining, in a naval sense, is quite a few times larger than the initial cost of construction," he said.
"We have been feeding into this cycle constantly...but we need to know how to analyse and propose new designs to make sure sustaining is efficient and effective."
AMC has been named as a strategic partner in the Adelaide-based naval shipbuilding college, which aims to act as a hub to connect education institutions and industry together in the construction of Australia's new naval fleet.
Advancements in remote sensing allow researchers to collect data from places no human has ever set foot.
Associate Professor Binns said one of the big focuses for the AMC in the future would be for autonomous underwater vehicles.
"We have one in Antarctic right now under the ice doing is Antarctic mission. We are pushing AUVs to their limits. No human-made device has been to where this AUV is going to right now," he said.
Remote sensing has a number of different applications and can be used outside the defence and maritime industries - it's something that the AMC has limitless scope to expand.
Associate Professor Binns said the final segment of training that would be expanded at the defence precinct would be what they term human systems - or how a person's body reacts and responds to months at sea.
"We want to give that end-to-end process, to look at how teams are operating and how the whole system comes into play," he said.
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But isn't there a college now in SA?
After some confusion when then-Defence Minister Christopher Pyne announced a South Australian "maritime technical college" in 2017, it was announced the AMC would become a strategic partner in the college.
While based in SA, the technical college has been described as more of an industry led hub, which would work with its education partners, namely the AMC, along with others, to provide industry and education links.
AMC defence manager Aaron Ingram said AMC was involved in the discussions very early on because of its status as a national training facility.
"The headquarters has a key role in coordinating and understanding the requirements of industry and working with its network training partners to ensure the supply is meeting the demand."
Mr Ingram said AMC was invited to be part of the naval shipbuilding college "right from the very beginning" once it had been established the SA college would not be an education training provider in its own right.
"The network involves a handful of preferred providers who are the first port of call and a growing network of endorsed providers," Mr Ingram said.
"In the very beginning when it was initially mooted as a maritime technical college there was a discussion about whether the AMC might be able to run it," he said.
"Very quickly once the shipbuilding plan was released and the government provided more details it was made clear the shipbuilding college was industry-run and supported by education and training."
What has been promised during the election?
It was one of the first main commitments for Bass during this election campaign.
Labor incumbent Ross Hart announced the party would support the defence precinct plan with $20 million in funding as the first stage of the defence precinct plan.
The funding would be used for a new building at the Australian Maritime College, Newnham.
Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek joined Mr Hart, and Opposition innovation spokesman Kim Carr and Opposition defence spokesman Richard Marles on April 16.
"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."
However, a day later, Bass Liberal candidate Bridget Archer confirmed the party would one-up Labor's proposal, with a $30 million commitment for the defence precinct.
A day after that, Labor confirmed it would honour $30 million, rather than the $20 million it had previously pledged.
Mr Hart confirmed during The Examiner's Bass candidates debate on May 8 that the AMC defence precinct funding was "the first stage in a $90 million commitment" the party is expected to honour if it wins.
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