Maritime manufacturing gets a lift in the top end

A new facility will support the growth of maritime manufacturing in the Northern Territory.

Funded through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, a ship lift facility will be built with $300 million in federal government funding.

According to the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, the ship lift will allow for a broad range of industrial uses.

“This project ticks a lot of boxes – economic diversification, job creation, new roles for highly skilled workers and new opportunities for NT businesses,” he said.

Vessels up to 5,000 tonnes will be able to be lifted, with the use of four wharves, and 20 hectares of hardstand area. Activities such as repair, maintenance, and storage, as well as wash down and paint and blast facilities are possible. The capability of the lift would allow for the facility to support the maintenance of the future Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessel, but would not be able to lift a vessel of the size of the Hunter Class Frigates.

Canavan emphasised the broader benefits that a facility such as this ship lift could bring, with the closest alternative facility located in Fremantle.

“These new facilities will broaden the city’s marine maintenance and servicing abilities and create plenty of spinoff benefits for local businesses and tradies, generating around 100 direct jobs during the construction and installation phase and at least a further 187 jobs during the operational phase,” he said.

Canavan also noted that with fracking beginning in the Beetaloo Basin, the facility would support further developments spurred by the resources industry.

“Greater developments at the Darwin Port can also help open up new opportunities for manufacturing developments such as those connected to the development of the Beetaloo basin,” said Canavan.

The operator of the ship lift will be Paspaley Group with users across industries able to access the facility’s capabilities.