Union encouraged that Collins Class to remain in SA

Unions have welcomed reports that full cycle docking of Collins Class submarines will be kept in South Australia.

The shipbuilding unions, under the banned of the Australian Shipbuilding Federation of Unions (ASFU), have campaigned outside of the South Australian Liberal state conference, and at the site of ASC Shipbuilding. ASC has recommended that full cycle docking should be done in South Australia.

“The cracks in the Government’s proposal to move this work are already appearing, and we’ll keep applying the pressure until they commit to keep this work in South Australia,” said Peter Bauer, state convener of the ASFU.

The ongoing work from the maintenance and upkeep of the Collins Class submarines will not only provide work for those directly engaged, but support a broader ecosystem of suppliers and contractors.

“This is great news for South Australian workers and the South Australian economy,” said Bauer.

The work will be carried out at the Osborne shipyards, which have provided support for Australian Navy vessels for more than 20 years.

“It’s difficult to see how it would be in the national interest to move full cycle docking from Osborne. The Osborne based engineers, technical professionals and tradespeople are the custodians of a generation of expertise in maintaining the Collins Class submarine,” said Bauer.

The federal government had previously floated the idea of moving the full cycle docking process to Western Australia.

With more work in the future as South Australian shipbuilders gear up to prepare for the production of the Attack Class submarines, ensuring a skilled workforce remain in South Australia is critical to the project’s success, according to Bauer.

“Keeping the full cycle docking in South Australia will ensure that Australia has the sovereign capability to sustain the Collins Class submarines and the skilled workers to build the Attack Class submarines,” said Bauer.