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Nuclear subs to create thousands of Australian jobs

The construction of new nuclear-powered submarines in Australia and the associated naval base expansions is set to boost local businesses and jobs for decades.

March 14, 2023
By Dominic Giannini
14 March 2023

Australian industry will benefit with thousands of jobs bankrolled from a nuclear submarine deal worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has unveiled the nation’s plan to acquire eight-nuclear powered submarines alongside his US and UK counterparts.

The plan includes buying three US Virginia-class vessels during the 2030s before a new AUKUS class comes into construction late next decade. 

The first of the new-generation subs will be built in the UK before Australia receives its first of the boats in around 2042.

Around $2 billion will be spent in South Australia over the next four years to develop facilities for the next-generation submarines.

Construction will create up to 4000 jobs at its peak, with a further 4000 to 5500 jobs in the state to be created during the submarine build.

Some $8 billion will be spent expanding the HMAS Stirling naval base at Garden Island, just south of Perth.

It will create around 3000 jobs while an extra 500 will be created to uphold the base during rotations between 2027 and 2032.

A total of 20,000 new jobs across the nation are expected over the coming three decades.

South Australia Premier Peter Malinauskas said the significance of the investment couldn’t be overstated.

“This is a transformational opportunity to increase our economic complexity,” he said. 

“That means more highly skilled, highly paid jobs across our economy that will help lift the standard of living for generations of South Australians.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said all three AUKUS nations would contribute to the task. 

“I see new frontiers in innovation to cross. New breakthroughs in technology to achieve,” he said standing alongside the US president and UK prime minister in San Diego.  

“Built by innovation, and extraordinary and emerging technologies, these boats will present a unique opportunity for Australian companies to contribute.

“The scale, complexity and economic significance of this investment is akin to the creation of the Australian automotive industry in the post-World War II period.”

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