Deputy Premier, John Barilaro recently announced that Thales Australia will undertake a staged redevelopment of facilities at the Port of Newcastle.
Hunter Business Chamber CEO, Bob Hawes, said the redevelopment will revitalise the region’s key maritime hub and enhance maritime services, providing benefits to the entire Hunter region.
“The addition of more than 70 jobs to Thales’ operations here is fantastic news, and the marine hub will further diversify activity at the Port of Newcastle and the broader region,” Bob said.
“We’re hoping the Thales facility will provide flow-on benefit to other local businesses.
“Funding from the NSW Government will allow the facility to accommodate larger vessels, attract and retain skilled workers, and will be a major boost for the Hunter’s defence sector. This is an excellent example of how strategic investment by the NSW Government is leveraging contributions from the private sector to secure positive employment generating outcomes.
“Newcastle has had a long and positive association with ship building services and facilities. It’s no secret that we’ve experienced challenging periods of downsizing in this space. It’s understood the facility will restore crucial defence sector capabilities.
“Through Hunter Defence, the Chamber and Hunter Net recently made a submission to the Standing Committee on State Development about the defence sector in New South Wales. The submission recommended that the State Government should support existing defence related precincts here in the Hunter, including the Port of Newcastle and the aerospace industry.”
Thales Australia CEO, Chris Jenkins, said the company has a long term vision to establish a lasting ship repair and maintenance facility.
“Thales has successfully conducted ship maintenance, repairs and upgrades for Defence and commercial vessels for over 26 years at Garden Island,” Chris said.
“Thales’s heritage in marine maintenance and sustained engagement with local businesses puts us in a unique position to reactivate the site, creating a new East Coast marine precinct at the Port of Newcastle.”
Port of Newcastle CEO, Geoff Crowe, said the project will help grow and diversify the Port and build on its rich history of ship building and repair.
“The Port of Newcastle welcomes Thales’s expanded presence which fits well with our Port Development Plan and will benefit local skills, jobs and wider economy,” Geoff said.
Thales in Australia is part of a leading international electronics and systems group serving the defence, aerospace and space, security, and transport markets in Australia and throughout the world.
IMAGE |Front row (L-R): Michael Johnsen (Member for Upper Hunter, NSW Parliament), Max Kufner (Deputy VP & Asset Management Services Director, Thales), John Barilaro (Deputy Premier of NSW), Geoff Crowe (CEO, Port of Newcastle), Paul Hogan (Director Business & Industry Development, NSW Department of Industry), Mark McClean (Business Development Manager, NSW Premier & Cabinet).
Back row (L-R): Duncan Challen (Executive Director Industry Development, NSW Department of Industry), Peter Scott (Director of Defence NSW), Bob Hawes (CEO, Hunter Business Chamber).
Business Hunter is the new name for the organisation formerly known as the Hunter Business Chamber. We are the largest regional peak business group in Australia, representing members across all business and industry sectors. Business Hunter is a not-for-profit member organisation dedicated to connecting people in business with what they need to succeed.
We have been the voice of business in the Hunter since 1886. Our members are part of a network of more than 2,500 businesses across the region. That network includes members of 20 aligned local chambers across 10 local government areas, stretching from the Mid North Coast to Lake Macquarie and inland to Scone. From main-street retailers to ASX 100 corporates, our member businesses power Australia's strongest regional economy.
The name Business Hunter was adopted in February 2020 to better reflect the vibrant and diverse businesses the organisation represents. The new name also aligns with our affiliates Business NSW and Business Australia.
Business Hunter has been through a number of name changes; what has never changed is our commitment to helping our members do business better, to drive growth and prosperity in the Hunter region.