The New South Wales government has announced funding to renew the Fitzroy Street shipyard slipway to reactivate the Port of Newcastle and the Hunter region as a major ship repair and maintenance precinct.
Thales Australia will begin stage one of a phased redevelopment of the site, creating 70 new jobs, stated Deputy Premier John Barilaro.
“This ship repair operation for a nationally significant facility will revitalise the Hunter’s proud maritime heritage and restore the port as a maritime hub,” Barilaro said. “The slipway upgrade will allow the port to handle bigger ships, attract skilled tradespeople back to the region and ensure naval maintenance work stays in NSW.”
Niall Blair, Minister for Trade and Industry, stated that the plan closely aligns with the NSW government’s Defence and Industry Strategy.
“This will be a major boost for our defence and industry sector,” Blair said. “Thales expects to grow local subcontractor industries to support its maritime operations in the region.”
Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins stated that Thales intends to establish an enduring ship repair and maintenance facility.
“Thales has successfully conducted ship maintenance, repairs and upgrades for Defence and commercial vessels for over 26 years at Garden Island,” Jenkins said.
“Thales’ heritage in marine maintenance and sustained engagement with local businesses puts us in a unique position to reactivate the site, creating a new east coast marine precinct at the Port of Newcastle.”