Assistant Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon David Fawcett, today inspected the works being delivered by Managing Contractor, Doric Contractors Pty Ltd under the HMAS Stirling Redevelopment 3A Project, Perth, WA.HMAS Stirling is the primary operational support base for Royal Australian Navy (Navy) capability on the west coast of Australia and is the homeport for approximately half of the major combatant force including submarines, major surface combatants, support vessels and embarked helicopter detachments. Minister Fawcett outlined, “Defence is investing $366.8 million in this project to provide major upgrade works to address shortfalls in essential services and structures resulting from age and the continuing population growth at the base. The redevelopment will support current and projected operational and support capabilities.The project has provided significant employment opportunities for approximately 2000 workers from the Perth and Rockingham region, with all subcontractors engaged on the project local to the area. Indigenous participation is at approximately 5.4 per cent.This investment is only possible because the Federal Liberal Government has created a strong economy that is able to support the commitment to grow the Defence budget to two per cent of GDP by 2020-21. It is consistent with this Government’s strategic approach to investing in the infrastructure that underpins effective military capability through the Integrated Investment Program.The strong economic management of the Federal Liberal Government is allowing it to continue to restore Defence capability after Labor’s savage $18 billion defence funding cuts, which drove the budget to pre WW2 levels. We are also ensuring that local companies, contractors and tradies have a fairer and bigger slice of the work through recent initiatives such as Local Industry Capability Plans.”The project is scheduled for completion in early 2020.The Assistant Minister also viewed sites proposed for works to support the introduction into service of Navy’s future Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels and Hunter Class Frigates. Subject to Parliamentary approval, these works are due to commence from 2020 and will provide further opportunities for local business to be involved.