The shipbuilding industry is capital intensive and requires substantial
and expensive infrastructure. When the Minister for Defence announced the
government's intention to conduct a limited tender for the supply ships, he
rejected the notion that the decision reflected the government's lack of confidence
in Australian industry.
In response to a question about the restricted tender for the replacement of
the two replenishment ships, the Minister stated that a 20,000 tonne or a
26,000 tonne replenishment ship would be 'far too large for us to build here in
He noted the large size of the ships and suggested that:
...there is very limited capacity for us to build a 20,000
tonne replenishment ship or a 26,000 tonne replenishment ship.
In his view, both of the potential competitors for the tender—Navantia
and Daewoo—build a very successful replenishment ship.
In this chapter, the committee considers the capacity of Australian shipyards
to build in full or partially the proposed supply ships.
Australian prime contractors and shipyards
The five largest defence shipbuilding prime contractors currently
operating in Australia are:
BAE systems—prime contractor for the two 27,000
tonne Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) vessels: it is undertaking
the construction of the superstructure and consolidation of the hulls (the
hulls, including the majority of the fit-out were built by Navantia in Spain).
The first ship has been delivered and is currently undergoing contractor sea
trials: the second ship is expected to be delivered to the Navy in
Thales Australia—has operated the Navy's major east
coast refit, repair and maintenance facilities at Garden Island for over 20
years, where it provides dock operations and ship repair, maintenance and
support for eleven major RAN ships presently home ported in Sydney.
Forgacs—has shipyards at Tomago and Cairncross and specialises
in modular construction for the naval sector. It is a major supplier of marine
engineering to Australian and overseas navies.
Austal, a global defence prime contractor, has designed
and built multi-mission combatants, including the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)
for the United States Navy and military high speed vessels for transport and
humanitarian relief, such as the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) for the United
States Navy and High Speed Support Vessel (HSSV) for the Royal Navy of Oman.
Austal also 'designs, constructs, integrates and maintains an extensive range
of patrol and auxiliary vessels for government agencies globally'. They include
the Cape Class Patrol Boat Program for Australian Customs and Border
Protection. Defence vessels are designed and constructed in Mobile, Alabama and
in Henderson, Western Australia.
Austal built the RAN's 14 Armidale Class Patrol boats at its shipyard in
ASC—in 1987, the newly formed Australian Submarine
Corporation (now ASC Pty Ltd.) began designing and building the Collins Class
(The submarines' design was based on the Type 471 design from Swedish
shipbuilder Kockums.) ASC now maintains the submarine fleet with the majority
of maintenance work undertaken at ASC North in Osborne, South Australia, by way
of full cycle dockings (major refits). Other shorter term submarine maintenance
activities are carried out at ASC West in Henderson, Western Australia, where
the submarines are based.
In 2005, the government selected ASC
AWD Pty Ltd as the shipbuilder for the AWD Program and determined that the
ships should be built in Adelaide. Due to difficulties encountered with the
engineering and construction of some of the first AWD hull blocks, block work
was reallocated between BAE, Forgacs and Navantia.
There are six major shipbuilding sites of relevance to the RAN:
Henderson in Western Australia—the Maritime
Precinct is approximately 35 hectares in area extending from the Common
User Facility in the South to the Recreation Boating Facility in the North. The
Shipbuilding Precinct was developed to accommodate a growing shipbuilding
industry, and is currently home to five primary shipbuilders and many other
smaller companies producing vessels in the 15 to 130 metre range.
Osborne in South Australia—located approximately 25
kilometres north-west of Adelaide, ASC South is adjacent to ASC's submarine
The shipyard is a part of Techport Australia, Australia's largest naval
shipbuilding hub incorporating 'a critical mass of world class warship design
and construction skills'. According to ASC, the new shipbuilding facility at
Osborne is 'a $120 million investment' in the building of Australia's AWDs and
future naval capability.
BAE Systems Williamstown in Victoria—located in the
northern part of Port Philip Bay, adjacent to Port of Melbourne commercial operations.
The shipyard has been the 'birthplace of many vessels, including the Royal
Australian Navy’s ANZAC Class Ships and the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Offshore
Garden Island in New South Wales—located on the
southern foreshore of Sydney Harbour. The shipyard is one of two primary Navy
repair and refit locations in Australia (the other being south of Perth) and is
of 'strategic significance in both berthing and supporting the Navy Fleet and
associated regional defence activities'. Its primary role is to support and
maintain the major RAN ships based in Sydney, plus visiting RAN and foreign
It provides a vital range of fleet base facilities that are fundamental to
mounting and supporting maritime operational capability. Thales Australia
manages and operates a graving dock (dry dock), a floating dock and a range of
ship engineering and maintenance facilities at Garden Island.
Forgacs, site at Tomago in New South Wales—located
14 kilometres from
the Port of Newcastle, NSW on the Hunter River. The 16 hectare site has
535 metres of river frontage with two ship basins. Tomago is Forgacs' key site
for construction of AWD modules. Projects at the shipyard include a range of
commercial vessels, including an ice breaker, cargo ships, tugs, ferries and
luxury cruisers. Naval vessel, HMAS Tobruk, was built at Tomago along
with modules for the ANZAC and Collins Class Submarine programs.
Forgacs, additional site at Cairncross in Queensland—a
15 hectare facility with one of the largest graving docks in Australasia, a 267
x 35 metre graving dock.
Lloyds List Australia reported on 10 July 2014 that there would be
no further dry-dockings, ship repair or engineering works to be undertaken on
Capacity of Australian shipyards
In March 2013, Defence published its Future Submarine Industry Skills
Plan, which was the result of a study on the current state of naval
shipbuilding in Australia, undertaken by an expert industry panel chaired by Mr
David Mortimer. The panel assessed the capacity of Australia's major shipyard to
deliver the ships in the DCP.
In respect of the capacity to build the supply ships, the Industry Skills Plan
provided information drawn from an analysis prepared in late 2012 by First Marine
International (FMI), a consultancy group from the United Kingdom that provides
specialist services to the marine industry.
The FMI found that the four major Australian shipyards had the capacity
to build the ships outlined in the White Paper and DCP, 'with some investment required
to develop launch facilities for the largest supply ships'.
it noted that the ASC's site at Osborne had the main construction, launch and wet
berth facilities capable of accommodating all vessels in the DCP except the
largest supply ships. It noted, however, that the shiplift had been designed
with expansion in mind, and could be lengthened to carry the larger supply and LHD
Defence provided additional information on the shipyard's capacity to build the
supply ship taken from the 2010 review by FMI, which assessed the ASC single
Current capacity is zero as a suitable build position is not
available. Potential capacity is zero as a suitable build position cannot be
developed without significant capital investment.
Defence informed the committee that, at this stage, it has not
undertaken an in-depth analysis of the costs involved in infrastructure
In respect of BAE's site at Williamstown, FMI found that the shipyard’s
main construction point was an inclined berth, which, in its view, was not
optimal in the context of modern ship construction. It stated:
The slipway could be modified to accommodate the wider beams (18 metres)
of the large vessels. If this were done, with the exception of the submarine
and the supply ship, all vessels in the Defence Capability Plan could be constructed
on the inclined ways. However, there would be a productivity penalty when
compared to a more modern approach to construction where hulls are consolidated
and systems integrated on a level surface before launch.
The FMI also noted that with some investment in facilities, the Tomago shipyard
could potentially be used for the integration of icebreakers, heavy landing
craft and supply ships. There are no wet berths but a shipping berth provides
block load out capability for all vessel types. Finally, the FMI commented on
Cairncross and observed that it has potential for construction of a number of
ship types including the larger supply ship. Overall, FMI determined that the collective
shipyard facilities assessed in its report have:
...the capability to build each of the vessel types in the
Defence Capability Plan. This is subject to a suitable launch position being
developed for the large supply ship, for example through upgrading facilities
at Adelaide, Melbourne or Newcastle, and assumes that some specialist equipment
is purchased and that some aspects of production are subcontracted.
Mr King informed the committee that Australia had facilities that could handle
up to about an 18-metre to 20-metre module and its accompanying weight.
He suggested that some modules in the really efficient yards could manage up to
900 tonnes. He explained that to achieve a productive module-building and
shipbuilding organisation, three things would be needed:
the lift and a docking facility to take the big modules;
halls big enough and with the significant span required to handle
a wide module; and
cranage to rotate the modules and then put them in place when
they are finally brought together.
Thus, while he recognised the impressive infrastructure at the Common
User Facility, Techport precinct, and the facilities and surface combatant
building at ASC, he stated:
...it is not simply a matter of building a syncrolift large
enough to be able to take the displacement. That is only a necessary precursor to
be able to build and launch. The point...is that your total infrastructure
environment, including all the shedding, paint and blast, cranage all has to be
upgraded to take these much larger modules that would exist on the AOR.
Mr King also thought that an upgrade to the facility at the Techport
precinct would require 'a bit of dredging work as well and access is a bit
He then noted that:
We are currently obviously in the force structure review
white paper process and these matters will also be reconsidered again
then—strategic needs. On balance, certainly at the moment we have enough of
that strategic capability relative to our needs, but the whole industrial
capacity issue will be re-evaluated in the white paper and the outcomes from
that, including the defence industry policy statement.
He also noted that should a decision be made to go down the path of
building the future frigates based on the AWD, you would not want to have
one-off very large ships significantly diverting and diminishing the country's ability
to become a world-leading surface combatant builder.
So I would not like to see investment in one or two ships or
investment in infrastructure, which we will never use again in the foreseeable future—30 years—compared
to that attention and investment of any amount in trying to become a really
good surface combatant builder.
Mr King noted that you can always have the capability; it is whether it
is a feasible course of action.
A recent Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU) paper noted the
size of the proposed supply ships, which, in its view, limited the options for
a construction site. It referred to an observation in the Future Submarine
Industry Skills Plan that no shipyard in Australia had 'the immediate ability
to launch ships of this size'.
Even so, it argued:
...with some investment in facilities, the common user
facilities in Adelaide and Perth are modern construction site options. The
graving dock at Cairncross in Brisbane is also an option, but the shipyard
would require more investment in infrastructure.
Consistent with this argument, Mr Glenn Thompson, AMWU, did not accept
the contention that Australia was not able to produce the ships. He also cited
the common user facilities at Osborne South Australia and Henderson in Western
Australia; BAE in Melbourne and Forgacs shipyards in Newcastle and Brisbane.
In the union's view, some of these sites have the capacity to build and launch
the proposed supply ships—in particular those in South Australia and Western
The AMWU acknowledged that some investment would be required to modify the
facilities but that this requirement should not 'affect the project start'.
In this regard, it should be noted that, in its submission to the
committee, Forgacs stated that its Brisbane facility was 'the largest graving
dock in Australia' and, with appropriate site development, would be capable of
handling the full build and fit-out of the replacement supply ships.
Likewise, Defence SA, suggested that with a small investment in the
Techport Australia Common User Facility, it would be feasible to launch ships
of this size.
At the public hearing, Mr Andrew Fletcher, Defence SA, took the opportunity
to comment on the advice given to the Defence Minister that, 'without the
expenditure of millions and possibly billions of dollars to existing facilities',
the necessary infrastructure to handle the construction of the supply ship. He
rejected the notion that the shipyard lacked the capacity to contribute to the
the supply ships, arguing that with minimal expenditure it could deliver on
what was required to lift and support the supply ships if they were fabricated
Mr Fletcher emphasized the fact that Techport and the Common User Facility
at Techport had been designed for expansion and flexibility for the future.
he drew attention to the memorandum of understanding with the Commonwealth
government whereby land around the Common User Facility has been reserved
to cope with multiple projects with multiple prime contractors.
In relation to the actual ship lift capacity, there seems to
be some confusion on the numbers. The reality is that the existing ship lift in
terms of lifting ships such as supply ships is capable of lifting 13½ thousand
tonnes. The new ships being considered have a nominated weight of 20,000 tonnes
and 26,000 tonnes. But, the reality is, the docking weight of the two designs
reduce significantly to 9,400 tonnes and 14,000 tonnes, respectively. Based on
the information that is available to us at the moment, we believe that, with
expenditure of just $20 million, we could provide a lift capacity at the Common
User Facility at Techport to cope with the dry weight of these ships. With
expenditure of a further $30 million—that is, a total of $50 million—we could
also increase the length of the ship lift by another 15 metres, which
would significantly increase the capacity and handling ability of the Common
Mr Fletcher also referred to the time it would take to complete the
With the design and implementation, if it was the $20 million
upgrade it would be done within 12 to 18 months. If it was the $50 million
upgrade it might run out to two years. But it would generally be the same sort
of time if we were building these ships in Australia to build modules and
assemble the ship. So, it would not be on the critical path for an Australian
Defence SA also informed the committee that expansion works could be
completed well before supply block fabrication was complete. It stated:
From a national capacity perspective, block fabrication could
be undertaken in the Melbourne and/or Newcastle shipyards, with the ships
consolidated and launched at Techport Australia.
BAE Systems similarly indicated that the Australian shipbuilding
industry had the capacity, capability and experience to carry out in part or in
full the replacement program for the two supply ships. It should also be noted
that BAE Systems informed the committee that it had submitted an unsolicited
proposal to government in September 2012 setting out a hybrid build program,
with part of the ship built overseas and part of the ship built in Australia—a
model similar to the LHD Program.
Mr Hamilton-Smith informed the committee that the LHD model involved 80 per
cent of the work undertaken overseas and 20 per cent in Australia.
BAE explained that if the ships were constructed based on its proposed hybrid
approach, there would be 'no major capital investment required': that the
investments made for the LHD and AWD would be sufficient.
The Government of Victoria vouched for BAE's ability to take on such
a major ship build. The government had provided significant financial assistance
to assist BAE modernise the Williamstown shipyard, its equipment and facilities
so it could meet the requirements of today's naval shipbuilding and integration
projects. In the view of the Victorian government, BAE Systems at Williamstown had:
...demonstrated its capability to succeed in the highly
competitive shipbuilding market. Its recognised leadership in Australian
shipbuilding rendered it an obvious candidate to carry out the replacement
program for HMAS Success and HMAS Sirius.
ASC also made a similar proposal involving a hybrid model.
In this context of a hybrid build, the AMWU recognised that a 'build
requires infrastructure to consolidate and launch. A hybrid build requires the
capacity to fit these vessels out'.
Also, while the Australian Business Defence Industry recognised the current
infrastructure limitations, it thought that the hybrid proposal could provide a
solution. It stated:
...the construction offshore of the Landing Helicopter Dock
(LHD) ships and the fit-out within Australia does provide a model to suggest
that the fit-out option might have been employed successfully by local
industry. Other options where the superstructure was constructed in Australia and
shipped to an offshore shipbuilder for integration may also have been possible.
The Navy League of Australia agreed with the view of some witnesses that
if the decision were taken to build the two replenishment ships in Australia,
there were two locations that, with modifications, appeared possible. It cited
the Common User Facility south of Perth:
The floating dock at the facility would need to be extended
to accommodate the new ships. The facility and local resources are at present
heavily committed to the off-shore industry.
It also referred to the ASC at Techport in Adelaide but noted that the
ship lift would probably need to be lengthened and possibly strengthened. The
League commented on ASC's suggestion that one of the two ships be built at
Techport. In its view, however, experience had shown that 'the construction in
Australia of a single ship of the complexity of a modern naval replenishment
ship to a foreign design could be a risky and expensive exercise'. Overall, it
Extending facilities at great cost and harnessing resources
to build a limited number of ships of considerable size is likely to be an
expensive and time consuming exercise of little benefit to the long-term
industry capability objective. The decision to construct the hulls of the two
28,000 tonne LHDs in Spain therefore made sense.
Broadly, the evidence presented to the committee is consistent with the
assessments of the Australian shipyards in the Future Submarine Industry Skills
Plan. There are a number of Australian shipyards that with some investment
would be able to build an AOR as proposed in the DCP. The committee notes,
however, that Defence has not undertaken an in-depth analysis of the costs
involved in upgrading the facilities.
Investment in infrastructure
A number of submitters noted the importance of considering through life
support for the vessels and how the initial costs to upgrade the facilities should
be appreciated as a long-term investment. For example, Mr Fletcher suggested to
the committee that the amount of expenditure against a project cost of $1.8
billion would be 'a significant and sensible investment in the future of our
infrastructure for supporting our Naval shipbuilding industry'. Indeed, in his
view: 'you could look at $20 million or $50 million in relation to a $1.8
billion spend and it is not a lot of money in the overall scheme of things. If
you take it over the full 30-year life of these things, it is insignificant'.
In respect of the $20 million investment in the ship-lifting capacity
and its contribution to through-life support, Mr Fletcher argued that the
upgrade would benefit sustainment because 'being able to lift a ship out of the
water and put it on the hard stand significantly reduces the sustainment work
costs'. He explained their rule of thumb—'if anything built as a model in a
shed costs $1, it costs $4 on the hard stand and $8 in the water'. He suggested
that in the future, the improvements 'would provide an opportunity to offset
the overheads of the facility by taking in not only naval ships but larger
non-naval ships for maintenance'.
He underlined the point that:
...what we are talking about here is providing sustainment
capability, upgrade capability, on an enduring basis for a very limited amount
of money, for a facility which has already had $300 million of state government
investment in it. We are preserving land for this sort of project around the
site. We have an MOU with the Commonwealth to do that. What is this about? It
is not necessarily regularity of use of the infrastructure but more maintaining
the capability of the workforce to deliver naval shipbuilding and sustainment
going forward for the next 30 years.
Similarly, the South Australian Minister for Defence Industries,
the Hon Mr Martin Hamilton-Smith, argued that the investment
in infrastructure should be appreciated for the benefits it could bring in the
Given the considerable financial investment by the South
Australian government in the Techport facility, the ongoing expansion of
Techport to support current and future projects is an enabler to enhancing our
naval shipbuilding capabilities and should be used as a basis upon which to
build ships like the two supply ships. Further enhancement of the Techport
facility would have been possible to support the build of these ships and
future sustainment through life support, had adequate notice been given and
arrangements made. The ramp down of shipbuilding during 2019 would leave South
Australia in a position where Techport would be effectively mothballed without
substantial future projects.
Both submitters argued that the infrastructure becomes a critical
Defence asset maintaining the capacity of Australian shipyards to sustain and
support Navy's fleet—a fundamental input to capability.
Defence SA informed the committee that the Commonwealth has:
...designated ship dry docking facilities and common user
facilities as a Priority Industry Capability [PIC]. The 2011 PIC 'Health Check'
of these facilities reported them to be 'healthy' however much has changed since,
including the closure of Forgacs' Cairncross dock (Brisbane) and disposal of
its floating dock (Newcastle).
There is now a shortage of docking capacity in Australia for
supply ship and larger-sized vessels. Garden Island's Captain Cook Graving Dock
(Sydney) is the only facility capable of docking supply ships. However, with
constant high Navy and commercial demand for the facility it is not suitable
for construction, and is not always readily available for unscheduled and/or
emergency dockings of vessels this size.
Indeed, Mr Fletcher noted that:
...at the moment there is only one piece of infrastructure
which can handle the dry-docking of the LHDs and that is Garden Island in
Sydney, which is under pressure from a lot of regions. With the closure of
Forgacs facility at Cairncross in Brisbane, the LHDs could also be lifted at
Techport—Techport has been designed for that—but it would require the
expenditure of $175 million. Then we would be able to cope with any ship and
any arrangement in the Australian Navy.
In this regard, Mr Hamilton-Smith suggested that Australia may well be
in a position where its inability 'to sustain these supply ships for one reason
or another, including the ship lift capability, ultimately causes us grief
during a future conflict'. He asked:
How can we lift those supply ships out of the water and
repair them and sustain them during a period of tension or a conflict if we do
not have a ship lift capable of doing that?...for a very small investment we
would have had not only an industry gain but a defence capability gain. I think
this is an argument that needs to be tested against those who would say that an
up-front saving gives us a capability and then we can walk away and forget it.
If you cannot maintain it, if you cannot sustain it, you do not have an ability
to fight a naval conflict.
What will happen with the LHD or other larger ships with
regard to lifting them out of the water should they need work? Do we have any
commitments with any of our suppliers? Will there be other commercial
opportunities that emerge whether linked to naval shipbuilding or to other
We have an extended ship-lift capability at Techport—the
nation gains a capability. How that might be required to be used in the future,
whether it is only for the two supply ships or perhaps for other naval ships we
may purchase at some future point or for commercial shipping, or some other
opportunity which might come up in the mine or energy space, they are questions
that are yet to be answered. It is a case almost of building infrastructure and
at least you have created the industry opportunity, should it arise.
The committee understands the importance of considering any investment
in major infrastructure from a long term perspective, which includes
to sustain and maintain its naval Fleet. The savings generated by having the
infrastructure available for the maintenance, repair and upgrade of these
vessels should be a major consideration.
Aside from the current perceived deficiencies in infrastructure, Mr King
also noted the difficulties with the available designs able to meet Australia's
requirements. In his view, an open tender would be suitable if there were
'multiple suppliers with access to multiple designs who could make an offer'.
But according to Mr King, one of the reasons for having a limited tender was
the lack of options when it came to designs. He argued that the decision of a
company to tender would be 'true and simple if there were tens of these designs
lying around the world and tens of companies in Australia that could compete
for it. Mr King argued, however, that Defence operated in 'a very fine world
market with very few designs that could meet the need'. He noted:
The accessible market is not just full of designs that you
can access. First of all, say you are going to do a complete onshore build. The
last time we did a complete onshore build of a ship of this size, it took 11½
years. In fact, it was Success. It took 11½ years and was four times
over budget. Instead of buying two ships, we bought one. One might argue that
we have learnt a little bit.
In addition, Defence noted that the production drawings for any ship
design are specific to the yard in which the ship is being built. It explained
...a hybrid build would require either significant
re-engineering of production methods, to allow for the much smaller facilities
and reduced crane-lifting capacities currently available in Australian yards,
or a significant investment in Australian shipbuilding facilities and
capabilities, including new block-building halls, paint and blast facilities
and new cranes.
In this regard, Mr King noted that the designs sought by Defence were
built by shipyards that own the designs and suggested that for practical
reasons there were two that would meet Defence's needs.
Furthermore, he underscored the fact that the ships were 'supersize structures'
and explained that each shipyard has to go about building a design a different
You can imagine this in a car plant, where you have robots
set up to build a certain car. What is also important in these designs is,
because you want to bring these modules together, you actually have to design
your module and your construction technique against the way you are going to
build it. So, just because the design exists and that ship exists—has been
built before, for example—if you are going to build it in a new shipyard that
has never built it before, you may have to re-engineer, as they call it, that
whole ship in order to be able to build that ship in that new facility, which
has different spaces...
Along similar lines, the Australian Division of the Royal Institution of
Naval Architects understood that no Australian shipbuilder was presently
equipped to either design or build the replacement supply vessels 'without
drawing on foreign design and/or shipbuilding resources'. It acknowledged that
it may be possible for Australian industry 'to complete the fit-out of such
vessels'. Even so, it suggested that:
...given the integration of fit-out with construction in modern
shipyards, it would most likely be inordinately expensive and time-consuming to
develop a domestic capability for building just two vessels of this size and
type compared with what might be available off-the-shelf from existing shipbuilders
in Spain or South Korea or elsewhere.
In regard to the experience with building from the preferred designs,
Mr Thompson, AMWU, noted that the Spanish commissioned one of the vessels in
2010 and understood that the South Koreans 'cut steel only last month for a
vessel that had been ordered for the UK Navy'.
He would not assume that:
...these builders are not going to have the same difficulties
as we would in relation to building these vessels. They are not as complex as
the vessels that we are building now. We are of the view that the government
should have allowed these builders on their merits to tender for these
Mr Graeme Dunk, Australian Business Defence Industry, was of the view
that ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems had a replenishment ship which, to his
knowledge, could be suitable for Australia.
He understood that this provided another example of a company that may be
willing to respond to a tender should they be given the opportunity.
While there are currently shortfalls in the capacity of Australian
to construct a large AOR as contemplated in the DCP, the deficiencies are not
insurmountable. With some investment, local major shipyards could be upgraded
to meet the challenge. Furthermore, the initial upfront costs for the
improvements should not be considered in isolation but with a view to the long
term benefits, especially when such infrastructure could be regarded as a fundamental
input to capability.
The committee has heard a number of assumptions made about the
investment that would be required to support the construction in Australia of
large vessels such as the supply ships and the long term dividends that would
result from such investment but little hard analysis. An open tender would have
allowed these matters, including the amount of investment required to upgrade
current facilities and the long-term benefits of this investment, to be fully
explored and contested.
It should be noted that investment in infrastructure in Australian
shipyards becomes a permanent asset and builds on the considerable
infrastructure already existing. It may well be time for Defence in collaboration
with industry to undertake
a complete and thorough audit or stocktake of Australia's shipyard infrastructure
and incorporate the findings into a strategic plan for future naval
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