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Australian government to establish $1Bn sustainment centre at FBE

Defence will invest $1 billion establishing a new naval regional maintenance centre at Fleet Base East (FBE), the Garden Island Defence Precinct in Sydney. Following an open tender which he said was ‘imminent’, Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said the Regional Maintenance Centre East is planned to be operational by mid-2024.

The investment is part of the government’s Continuous Naval Shipbuilding program, Minister Dutton said: “This new approach aims to mitigate the ‘boom and bust cycle’ by providing long term work packages and removing barriers to entry for small and medium enterprises.

“By adopting this new approach, the Morrison Government is opening up opportunities for local small and medium enterprises to be involved in building our sovereign defence industry and reducing administration for the workforce, making it easier to do business with Defence.”

Regional Maintenance Centre East will initially support the RAN’s three Hobart-class DDG and the LPH HMAS Choules, with additional Sydney-based capabilities including the Canberra-class LHDs and their landing craft, one Supply-class auxiliary oiler and two Anzac-class frigates being considered for inclusion during the initial contract term.

“The Morrison Government has identified and established naval regional maintenance centres in Cairns, Darwin and Henderson,” Minister Dutton added.

“This tender will see the Government meet its commitment to the establishment of four regional maintenance centres in a national network to provide continuous sustainment of the Navy’s fleet around Australia.

“The successful tenderer for this maintenance centre will play an integral role in planning, managing and delivering maintenance at Garden Island, the home of Navy’s major fleet units and a strategic asset for delivery of naval capability.”

The partnership will deliver complex naval capability and is expected to inject more than $1 billion into the Sydney region economy over the next five years.

“This brings the initial investment across the network of four regional maintenance centres to approximately $1.327 billion that will initially create close to 200 direct jobs,” Minister Dutton said.

“As we have seen with other regional maintenance centres, the provision of this crucial sustainment work provides significant long-term job opportunities for direct and indirect workforce, with the number of workers rising as the scope of services increases over the initial five year period of the contract.

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