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Defence industry

Defence Industry in Rockingham

Rockingham Defence industry

Minutes from the heart of Rockingham, Fleet Base West is located at HMAS Stirling on Garden Island and is the Royal Australian Navy’s largest base in Australia.

At present, 12 fleet units including Anzac Class frigates and Collins Class submarines are stationed here, along with an additional 70 units including the Submarine Training and Systems Centre, Clearance Diving Team Four, and the Defence Communications Station Perth.

Under the planned Navy Capability Infrastructure Sub-Program, Fleet Base West will become homeport to additional Hunter Class frigates, Arafura Class offshore patrol vessels and Attack Class submarines when they come into service. This will result in significant expansion, sustainment and maintenance opportunities in the coming years. An estimated one billion dollars will be spent on extensions to the existing wharves, construction of new office buildings, training facilities and living accommodation to support the new vessels and personnel who will be calling Fleet Base West their new home.

The expansion of Fleet Base West has the potential to create thousands of jobs within the City of Rockingham as well as provide opportunities for local business to tender for associated contracts.

Defence Industry Forum

We hosted our inaugural Defence Industry Forum at the Gary Holland Community Centre on 15 April 2021. This free event was delivered by the Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce and was supported by the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) - now known as the Office of Defence Industry Support (ODIS) - and the South West Group. The day brought together insightful speakers and presenters from Defence and defence industry organisations including federal Minister for Defence Industry the Hon Melissa Price MP, WA Minister for Small Business the Hon Reece Whitby MLA as well as local contractors and Defence industry Prime contractors including Lendlease, Ventia (previously Broadspectrum) and Thales. 

This initiative from the City’s Economic Development Strategy 2020 – 2025 will take place annually until 2025, and gives local businesses valuable knowledge and understanding of the defence industry and upcoming Defence sector opportunities within the Rockingham region, where over $1 billion will be invested in infrastructure in the next 10 years. 

The day included:

  • presentations on state and federal government initiatives and perspectives for defence industry work in WA
  • the current and future projects occurring in our region
  • how local businesses can enter the Defence industry supply chain
  • engagement with Prime contractors
  • the roles and support offered by Defence industry organisations
  • perspectives on future industry training opportunities in our region
  • several Q&A panel discussions at the end of each theme
  • networking session at the end of the event.

In 2021, local businesses also had the opportunity for one-to-one business meetings with the CDIC (now known as ODIS) Defence Business Advisors, who answered queries and provided advice about entering the Defence supply chain.

Defence Ready Business Workshops

To further support local businesses to participate in the estimated $1 billion infrastructure projects set to occur at HMAS Stirling (Fleet Base West) on Garden Island, the City partnered with The Lab Factory to deliver a series of four Defence Ready Business Workshops. 

Designed to provide real insights to businesses on how to find and tender for work in the Defence supply chain, these face-to-face workshops presented need-to-know information to businesses interested in this work.

Workshops held were:

  • How to build your business in Defence: 17 February 2021
  • How to apply for Defence tenders: 3 March 2021 
  • How to make your business commercially attractive to Defence: 17 March 2021
  • What are the things I need to do, once I’ve secured a Defence tender: 31 March 2021

Resources for the Defence industry

  • The Office of Defence Industry Support (ODIS; formerly the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, or CDIC) is a Federal Government organisation tasked with helping small business connect, build, innovate and export in the defence industry.
  • Defence West is a State Government organisation responsible for growing the local defence industry and advocating and driving strategic projects to increase the capability and output of WA’s defence industry. 
  • The Defence Business Readiness Tool is a secure, stand-alone web-based system (provided by ODIS) that allows SMEs to assess themselves against industry best-practices for Defence suppliers, help them understand what it means to be ‘Defence Ready’ and prioritise actions to help them grow their Defence business capability.
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