Saturday, 19 February 2022

South Australia continues to prove itself to be a defence powerhouse, with the state soon to be the home of a purpose-built 737 deep maintenance and modification facility next to RAAF Base Edinburgh – creating hundreds of local jobs.


This new $160 million facility, funded by the Marshall Liberal Government, will allow for the heavy maintenance and modification of the maritime surveillance aircraft, and the RAAF E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft.


Federal Finance Minister and Senator for South Australia Simon Birmingham said this new start-of-the-art facility was another demonstration of how South Australia’s defence industry was delivering for Australia’s national security.


“This is yet another vote of confidence in South Australia’s booming defence industry, which is being taken to lofty new heights,” Minister Birmingham said.


“This cutting-edge facility will be a vital piece of defence infrastructure here in SA and will allow deep maintenance of the P-8A Poseidon to occur in Australia rather than in the United States.


“Over 200 construction jobs will be created during the build stage of the project with 120 long-term skilled defence industry jobs required for the ongoing maintenance works.


“Delivering this important piece of infrastructure means SA will have the capability to meet the needs of additional defence maintenance programs, further creating a pipeline of economic activity and skilled jobs that will exist for decades to come.”


Premier of South Australia Steven Marshall today welcomed the job-creating announcement, saying it truly emblazons South Australia as the Defence State.


“South Australia is unequivocally the home of Defence,” Premier Marshall said.


“We are the home of the new Hunter Class Frigates, the Collins Class Submarines, the future fleet of new submarines under AUKUS partnership’, Hobart Class Destroyer combat management system upgrades and now the 737 Deep Maintenance Facility.


“Most importantly – we are the home of Defence jobs, jobs for now, jobs for tomorrow and jobs for decades to come.


“South Australia is home to leading global defence companies, a thriving network of SMEs and a deep commitment to building a job-ready defence workforce. We stand at the ready to support this project and play our role in building the facilities and capabilities Australia needs now and into the future,” Premier Marshall said.


The Department Defence will work in partnership with Renewal South Australia to deliver the facility and will enter into a long-term lease for the facility.


Construction of the new facility is expected to start by mid-2023 and will be fully operational in 2025.