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Govt promotes SA's defence industry in Paris

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Premier Jay Weatherill and Defence Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith are in Paris this week leading a contingent spruiking South Australia’s defence industry capabilities at a major naval defence event.

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The State Government says Euronaval – a five-day showcase of naval and maritime defence and security technologies, products and services – is “a strategically important opportunity” for SA’s defence industry to promote its capabilities to European markets, “with a view to attracting new investment that creates local jobs”.

Joining Weatherill and Hamilton-Smith on the trip is a 27-strong contingent of defence industry members, including representatives of companies such as ASC as well as the state’s universities and TAFE.

Hamilton-Smith said “much has been achieved” already in France – firstly through the high-profile presence of local industries at a Defence South Australia stand at Euronaval 2016, and secondly through meetings with “the key players, including DCNS, involved in delivering to Australia a sovereign capability in shipbuilding that will be based in Adelaide”.

The Federal Government announced last month that a contract had been signed with French company DCNS to begin designing the new subs for the Future Submarine project. At the same time, Hamilton-Smith stepped up the state’s campaign to have a submarine design centre build in Adelaide.

“We have a defence industry which is energised and ready to be a part of the global supply chain for upcoming maritime programs, namely Offshore Patrol Vessels, Future Frigates and Future Submarines,” the Minister said today.

“Now that we have successfully secured naval shipbuilding programs for Techport Australia, the challenge for us now is to ensure we maximise local industry involvement and local jobs, and that’s a key reason for our high-level presence at Euronaval.”

Weatherill said Euronaval would help SA companies “forge business-to-business relationships and prepare local industry for upcoming maritime programs as they build momentum over the next two to three years”.

Immediately following the event, Hamilton-Smith will lead a business mission of 13 companies to visit the shipyards of potential Future Frigate design partners, including BAE Systems (Glasgow) Navantia (Ferrol) and Fincantieri (Genoa).

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