Friday, 12 May 2017
Media release

New fleet of ABF Port and Coastal Vessels on the way

The Australian Border Force (ABF) will bolster its capabilities in and around Australia's ports, harbours and waterways and along its remote coastline with an upgraded fleet of Port Harbour and Coastal Boats.

Contracts have now been signed for 13 new vessels to provide an enhanced level of maritime capability to carry out border operations in waterways around the country.

The contracts with Adelaide-based companies Seaforce and Nautic Star, along with Yamba Welding on the NSW North Coast will see four 12 metre vessels, four 5.4 metre vessels and five 7.3 metre vessels built in coming months.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said the vessels will be a welcome addition to Australia's maritime security.

"Our maritime capability is the strongest it has ever been, but we continue to see organised crime syndicates using our waterways in their attempts to bring dangerous drugs across our border," Mr Dutton said.

"These vessels will increase the ABF's on-water presence and provide a greater rapid-response capability for officers.

"The smaller boats will be carried on an off-road trailer, allowing the vessels to be quickly deployed to remote coastal regions where there may not be suitable launching and retrieval facilities."

The project will inject about $10.5 million into local businesses over the next two years.

"We're proud to be working with and supporting these well-established Australian boat-builders who have a long history of supplying vessels to law enforcement agencies," Mr Dutton said.

"Government tenders such as these help to boost small business, maintain jobs and build a strong economy."