The Australian and South Australian Governments have worked tirelessly together to close the gap in the valley of death between the AWD program on one side and the major programs of the Future Submarine and Future Frigate on the other. The Premier joined Federal Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne to announce the retention of the AWD combat system integration capability as a national asset.
- Federal Defence Minister, the Honourable Christopher Pyne MP
- Assistant Defence Minister, Senator David Fawcett
- Other representatives of the Commonwealth and South Australian governments
- Michael Ward, Managing Director, Raytheon Australia
- Andrew Whittaker, Raytheon Australia’s General Manager, Shipbuilding
- Other Raytheon employees
First, as I’ve also got responsibility for the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio in South Australia, I acknowledge we are meeting on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people and that we respect their spiritual relationship with their country.
I’m extremely pleased to recognise this morning’s announcement as further confirmation of what we already know.
That the Federal and South Australian Governments are working very closely together to advance our sovereign defence industry – not just in South Australia but across our nation.
It’s a great pleasure to be a partner with the Federal Minister in this vital endeavour.
The South Australian Government is totally committed to the Continuous Naval Shipbuilding Plan being implemented under the leadership of the Minister.
It’s well known how much South Australia has done to secure the Future Submarine and Future Frigate programs in Australia’s $90 billion Naval Shipbuilding Plan.
In what our Prime Minister described as ‘a defining moment’ for our nation, I was therefore proud to be in Canberra on Monday standing with the PM and Christopher for the signing of the Strategic Partnering Agreement for the Future Submarines.
As we know, it takes some time to reach a critical mass of employees on such major programs.
For this reason, the Australian and South Australian Governments have worked tirelessly to close the gap in the valley of death between completion of the Air Warfare Destroyers and the commencement of the Future Frigate and Submarine programs.
Today’s announcement is a critical initiative in that endeavour.
It was imperative that we did not lose the extraordinary combat systems capability that has been established on the AWD program.
I have accompanied the Federal Minister to Osborne many times.
On each occasion, I have been impressed by the sheer complexity of this work and the enormous undertaking represented by the integration efforts involved with the Hobart Class combat system.
This is your success.
It has been no small feat.
I pay tribute to each and every one of you for what you have achieved here and for building a truly sovereign, South Australian focused systems integration capability.
I speak quite specifically about systems integration.
Many occupations and professions will contribute to the continuing work at Osborne.
But today is an opportunity to celebrate the successes of the engineering technicians, the systems engineers and the engineering architects including engineering fellows and PhD graduates.
It is also an opportunity to recognise the certified program managers, the supply chain and procurement specialists, the lawyers, financial analysts and other professions represented here.
You may possess some of the less visible skills.
But I want to reassure you that we recognise the importance of maintaining your skills in this industry here in Adelaide, beyond the AWD program.
Today’s announcement is a demonstration of Federal and State government focus on ensuring that we do not lose your capability.
We will preserve and transfer these skills to bring your knowledge, your experience and your expertise to the future of the AWD combat system and to future projects such as the Hunter Class.
Raytheon Australia is no stranger to these complex Australian defence programs.
With more than 430 employees located in South Australia, Raytheon is a vital part of the local South Australian defence ecosystem.
I want to commend and thank Michal Ward for the focus he has placed on growing Raytheon in South Australian.
No Australian state has more Raytheon employees than South Australia.
I congratulate Raytheon for what it is doing here at Osborne, and also at Edinburgh and at Parkside.
These are important programs for Australia.
The Woomera Test Range.
Sustaining the Collins combat system and others.
I welcome the fact you are focused on growing your business in Adelaide and I want you to know the South Australian Government is a very willing partner with you in this endeavour.
May I also take this opportunity to publicly thank you, Michael, for your work behind the scenes to secure the Federal Government’s support to base the National Space Agency in our great State.
In closing, I congratulate the Federal Minister on today’s announcement to retain the AWD combat system integration capability as a national asset and equally, I congratulate every Raytheon employee here today on your wonderful success.
May there be many more days like this to come.