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Hunter well-positioned for shipbuilding resurgence

Release Date: 25/08/2020
Debate over the origin of the State Government’s new River Class ferries has put a spotlight on the Hunter region’s untapped shipbuilding capability, the Hunter Business Chamber says.
Chamber CEO Bob Hawes said the Hunter should be considered for future shipbuilding contracts due to its potential to deliver projects across defence, commercial and recreational markets.
“We have a proud heritage of shipbuilding and we the region retains the capacity, assets and skills required to scale the industry back up,” Mr Hawes said.
“The harbour and port have abundant vessel capacity and the Port of Newcastle is actively seeking to diversify its activities.

“We have good landside and waterside infrastructure and there is capacity in existing facilities that is not currently being used as well as sites that could potentially house new facilities.

“We have also maintained an active shipbuilding and repair industry, so the required expertise remains in the region.

“It’s the right time for government to be thinking more deliberately about directing and monitoring local content in procurement like shipbuilding contracts.

“There is currently a spotlight on sovereign capability and the need to generate new jobs right across the economic spectrum.

“COVID has also reinforced the need for strong domestic manufacturing capability the Hunter is well-positioned to respond to future opportunities in marine craft construction, repair and maintenance.”

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