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Chamber welcomes port investment and Thales announcement

Release Date: 29/06/2017
The Hunter Business Chamber today welcomed an announcement from Deputy Premier John Barilaro that Thales Australia will undertake a staged redevelopment of facilities at the Port of Newcastle, which will revitalise the region’s key maritime hub.
Chamber CEO Bob Hawes said the entire region will benefit from the enhanced maritime services precinct.
“The addition of more than 70 jobs to Thales’ operations here is fantastic news, and the marine hub will further diversify activity at the Port of Newcastle and the broader region. We’re hoping the Thales facility will provide flow-on benefit to other local businesses.
“Funding from the NSW Government will allow the facility to accommodate larger vessels, attract and retain skilled workers, and will be a major boost for the Hunter’s defence sector. This is an excellent example of how strategic investment by the NSW Government is leveraging contributions from the private sector to secure positive employment generating outcomes.
“Newcastle has had a long and positive association with shipbuilding services and facilities. It’s no secret that we’ve experienced challenging periods of downsizing in this space. It’s understood the facility will restore crucial defence sector capabilities.
“Through Hunter Defence, the Chamber and Hunter Net recently made a submission to the Standing Committee on State Development about the defence sector in New South Wales. The submission recommended that the State Government should support existing defence related precincts here in the Hunter, including the Port of Newcastle and the aerospace industry.
“The Chamber has been advocating for a stronger defence sector here in our region for a long time.
This investment at the Port of Newcastle is consistent with the Chamber’s view that the defence
industry is critical to the regional economy,” Bob said.

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