WA invests in massive marine infrastructure

The Henderson precinct from the air.
Jeni Bone
The WA marine industry is powering, with massive investment in infrastructure and upgrades to the Australian Marine Complex, just south of Fremantle.

Multi-million dollar investment in submarine facilities and maintenance, repair and storage for recreational boaters at the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson will position the facility as a prime revenue source for the state.

A new $35million purpose-built submarine maintenance precinct was opened in early May by the state’s Industry and Enterprise Minister, Francis Logan, with the assistance of Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Procurement, Greg Combet.

ASC (formerly known as Australian Submarine Corporation) is the designer and builder of the Australian Defence Force’s Collins Class submarines. ASC will provide through-life support, maintenance and upgrade services to the submarines under a 25-year contract.

According to Logan, the dedicated submarine maintenance facility is an enormous asset for Western Australia and an excellent extension to the AMC.

“The AMC is Australia’s premier shipbuilding, module fabrication and repair and maintenance facility for the marine, defence and petroleum industries,” he said. 'The State Government has invested $174million in new infrastructure at the AMC that will prove critical to the operations of ASC and other companies in WA.

A new floating dock and self-propelled modular transfer system are currently being constructed and will improve facilities for ships and submarines to be repaired and maintained.

This infrastructure was instrumental in ASC’s decision to invest in purpose-built facilities at the AMC and the State Government is certain that ASC has made the right decision.

“I am positive this decision will be paid back many times over in both productivity gains for the company, the AMC and the State.”

ASC has worked across multiple sites in WA since 1996, and the opening of its ASC West facility at the AMC represents the amalgamation of three service facilities into one consolidated, cutting-edge submarine support facility.

ASC chairman John Prescott said it was a very significant day for ASC, both in terms of its commitment to sustaining the submarine fleet at the AMC and to ASC’s future in WA.

“Over the past 12 years, our operations in the West have helped keep the Collins Class submarines at the forefront of Australia’s naval defences,” he said.

“It has been a vital base in the ongoing operations of the Collins Class - critical maintenance that has helped ensure these boats remain the most lethal conventional submarines. The State Government is developing key infrastructure at the AMC, without which ASC West simply could not exist. ASC West represents a $35million investment in the future and a permanent commitment to WA.”

Minister Logan said the AMC’s cluster of marine, defence and oil and gas companies would continue to grow and become an economic powerhouse in the Asia-Pacific region.

ASC will perform its first submarine docking at ASC West in 2009, when the floating dock begins service at the AMC.

The Aquastack Marina, also at the Henderson site, is a secure facility that will provide repair, maintenance and boat-and-trailer stacking, as well as launch and retrieval services, to boats sized 5.5m to 10m (18 to 33 feet).

Located near popular Perth boat ramps Woodman Point, East Fremantle and Rockingham, it is the ideal “one stop shop” for all boating enthusiasts and will fill a storage gap in the recreational boat industry.

“This innovative facility will take all the hard work out of owning a boat so owners can enjoy more time on the water - it’s like a valet service for boats,” said Minister Logan.

“Our amazing waterways and booming economy have resulted in a 40 per cent increase in registered recreational boats over the past 10 years. Industry is reaping these benefits, with a recent survey revealing the State’s boating industry contributes $380million a year to our economy.

“Our international status is also growing, with WA boats and recreational marine products totalling about $62million in exports last year. The need for boat stacking facilities in WA has increased, so it is great to see this innovative, space-saving concept come to the AMC.”

Aquastack Marina director, Luke Clayton said its service offered clients’ peace of mind as their boats and trailers were stored exactly the same way each time.

WA Minister for Industry and Enterprise Fran Logan and Aquastack Marina director Luke Clayton at the official opening.
Jeni Bone


“Aquastack Marina offers a quick turnaround time - clients can call us 30 minutes before they want to head out and we will have their boat ready for them to hit the water.” said Clayton.

“We look after repairs, services and maintenance and can even pack a picnic basket. Our ultimate package means you don’t even have to lift a finger, we will organise everything and have the boat ready and waiting in the water for you to directly step on to. Our purpose-built fork lift can carry up to 25 tonnes and the facility can fit 220 small, medium and large sized boats and trailers with ease.”

Next in the pipeline is a superyacht building, servicing and repair centre, as well as four new public boat ramps and stacking facilities to be located at Woodman Point.

More at www.australianmarinecomplex.com.au