Jobs defence

OPPOSITION leader Mark McGowan wants the Defence department to churn any profits from the sale of Leeuwin Barracks back into WA to develop defence-based industries.

Mr McGowan acknowledges it might be difficult to slip that one past the Turnbull government, but says Defence might welcome the plan because there was already an acknowledged need to upgrade local infrastructure.

• Mark McGowan with Lisa O’Malley and Simone McGurk.

• Mark McGowan with Lisa O’Malley and Simone McGurk.

A defence white paper released last year outlined $4 billion worth of upgrades to WA defence capabilities, including giving the Harold E Holt Naval Communication Station near Exmouth the ability to gaze into space to assess any security risks.

HMAS Stirling in Cockburn Sound would also have its submarine fleet doubled to a dozen, with five anti-submarine frigates alongside.

Mr McGowan said Labor also wanted to take over managing the sale of Leeuwin.

“As a former naval officer I understand the importance of our military history and the need to protect our heritage,” Mr McGowan said.

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