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Australia's largest defence and security company boosts jobs in the Hunter

BAE Systems Australia will create 55 new skilled engineering jobs in the Hunter through support provided by the NSW Government’s $250 million Jobs Plus Program to expand the company’s Williamtown base and strengthen the region’s export capability.

This assistance will support the creation of an additional set of regionally focused bays at the aircraft sustainment hub, which will complement the new bays planned to be built by BAE Systems. As part of this hub, the company will manage an F-35 South-Asia Pacific Regional Depot.

These regional bays will be export focused, attract overseas aircraft and sustainment contracts from the region, increasing jobs and opportunities for the Hunter region.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the investment in BAE Systems would promote the growth of skilled jobs in regional NSW, while enhancing the nation’s sovereign defence capability.

“This Australian-first facility will increase the number of international aircraft that can be maintained at Williamtown and make regional NSW more competitive for future defence export opportunities,” Mr Toole said.

“The NSW Government has already invested more than $16 million to develop infrastructure and skills in the Hunter region to strengthen its defence and aerospace industry, through the Astra Aerolab Defence Aviation Technology Precinct and the Williamtown Special Activation Precinct.”

Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade Stuart Ayres said the Jobs Plus Program support, including payroll tax exemptions, would create 55 maintenance and engineering jobs by 2030 and support 147 indirect jobs by 2024.

“This is a big win for highly skilled jobs in the Hunter, with STEM-focused roles making up 60 per cent of the BAE Systems workforce,” Mr Ayres said.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin said the size of BAE’s supply chain meant more opportunities for local businesses.

“BAE Systems has more than 1,600 businesses as part of its supply chain. This investment will increase the number of workers and businesses operating here in the Williamtown Special Activation Precinct, and drive benefits for the entire supply chain through enhanced networking, information exchange and skills development,” Mr Martin said.

BAE Systems Australia CEO Gabby Costigan said Jobs Plus support is pivotal in maximising the sovereign capability we are developing in Williamtown to sustain the Australian F-35 fleet.

“The facilities developed here will be a beacon for global F-35 fleets operating within and near our region,” Ms Costigan said.  

“BAE Systems Australia will continue working with our supply chain partners in the Hunter Valley to identify and secure new opportunities that build on the solid foundation of leading-edge aircraft support we have developed over two decades at Williamtown.”  

The NSW Government’s Jobs Plus Program provides eligible companies with support to establish and expand their footprint in NSW, including payroll tax relief, streamlined planning approvals and subsidised training programs, along with rebates for enabling infrastructure.

Australian businesses that currently employ 20 or more staff, and international companies with at least 80 current employees, looking to establish a minimum of 30 new jobs in NSW before June 2024, are eligible to apply for the Jobs Plus Program.

For more details about the program visit https://mybusiness.service.nsw.gov.au/jobs-plus-program.