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Canberra to invest in large dry dock facility in Western Australia

The Australian government is to fund a new AUD4.3 billion (USD3.1 billion) large-vessel dry dock at the Henderson marine precinct in Western Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on 15 March.

Morrison said the project would transform Henderson, near Perth, into a world-class shipbuilding precinct, with funding for the dry dock and associated infrastructure to be included in the 29 March federal budget.

Design and build of the project would be overseen by government-owned Australian Naval Infrastructure. Construction would begin in 2023–24, with initial operational capability achieved by 2028 and final operating capability anticipated by 2030, he said.

The facility would support 2,000 direct jobs when completed, and ensure large vessels are built in Western Australia, and sustained, Morrison added.

Although no details of the intended facility were released, Morrison said it would match the 347-metre Captain Cook dry dock in Sydney, the largest of its type in the southern hemisphere, and the only facility in Australia to accommodate the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) large ships.

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