24 Apr 2023

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward will use the first sitting of State Parliament to move a Notice of Motion calling on the NSW Government to back in Port Kembla as the home for Australia’s next generation submarine fleet.

Mr Ward said our region can take advantage of defence jobs and demonstrate the Illawarra can be an engine room for strategic defence assets that serve our nation.

“I am incredibly proud of our defence personnel and industry that serve our nation. Our electorate is home to the fleet air arm of the Royal Australian Navy at HMAS Albatross,” Mr Ward said.

“Our electorate is also home to defence industry businesses. Both Navy and defence industry are major employers that provide high-value and long-term jobs for our community. 

“Locating our next generation submarines at Port Kembla is an incredible opportunity for jobs and investment in our region. I’ve seen what defence jobs can do for my own electorate and given our existing local defence installations; we should be seeking to leverage every opportunity to pursue Port Kembla as the home for the Australian submarine fleet.

“I am deeply disappointed with the attitude of local Labor MPs that seem to be more concerned with the views of the union movement rather than backing our region, embracing economic opportunities, and supporting our nation’s strategic defence interests.

“I’ve been disappointed to hear comments that a base at Port Kembla could make our region a target. As a local Member who already has defence installations in our electorate, I can assure these critics that our defence personnel don’t make us a target – they make us proud.

“I hope the NSW Government will back this motion and embrace defence opportunities for our region and our State,” Mr Ward concluded.