Better Australian patrol boats, safer Australian borders
Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice Jason Clare today visited Austal’s Henderson facility to be briefed on the building of Customs and Border Protection’s new eight new Cape Class Patrol Boats.
Mr Clare was joined by local Members Gary Gray and Melissa Parke.
“These boats will help protect Australia’s borders from maritime threats like illegal fishing, piracy, marine pollution, irregular maritime arrivals and prohibited imports and exports,” Mr Clare said.
“They will be a powerful presence protecting our borders – faster and bigger than the current Bay Class boats they will replace.
“The new boats will be capable of patrolling for 28 days at a time and travelling 4000 nautical miles before refuelling.
“The new boats will also be able to launch two response tenders at the same time.
“These tenders will be bigger, faster and have greater capacity to carry out a range of maritime security tasks.”
The new boats:
Are bigger than the current boats used by Customs (58.1 metres long, compared to the 38.2 metres-long);
Will be equipped with better surveillance technology and secure communications;
Can operate in higher sea states; and
Survive in more diverse conditions - including southern and northern waters.
“The new boats can operate in higher sea states, which means they will be able to sail as far south as the 50 degree south mark in the Southern Ocean and as far north as the Cocos Keeling Islands,” Mr Clare said.
The Prime Minister announced last year that Austal had won the $350 million contract to build the eight new boats.
Mr Gray said he was proud that these boats were being built in Western Australia.
“Austal is a terrific company and a great Western Australian employer,” Mr Gray said.
“This contract will support about 500 jobs at Austal and the jobs of 1,000 other local workers at various stages of the contract.”
Ms Parke said it showed the commitment of the Australian Government to manufacturing in Australia.
“This project will boost employment and training in the south-metro area at a time when youth employment is fragile and manufacturing jobs need support,” Ms Parke said. “Ship-building work has long been a part of the economic life in Fremantle, and projects like this complement the government’s investment in a new Maritime Trades Training facility at South Fremantle High School.”
Detailed design work is being finalised, with the first of the vessels expected to be ready for operational trials by March 2013 and the last in late 2015.
Austal will provide support to the boats until August 2019.