Coalition commits $1bn for naval facility

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A new $1 billion maintenance centre will be built in Sydney for Australia's warships.

A tender for the naval centre, which will be established at the Garden Island Defence Precinct, was released on Wednesday afternoon.

The Sydney centre will join three others in Cairns, Darwin and Henderson in WA.

It is expected to be operational by mid-2024 and will initially service three Hobart class destroyers and HMAS Choules.

"This brings the initial investment across the network of four regional maintenance centres to approximately $1.327 billion that will initially create close to 200 direct jobs," Defence Minister Peter Dutton said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a $50 million election commitment for the NSW Hunter and Sydney regions to develop new technology for the energy sector.

The research partnership between the University of NSW and the University of Newcastle is expected to create 1600 new jobs in the next four years, and the universities and industry collaborators will co-invest more than $220 million.

The two universities will work with 27 industry partners in the two regions to develop new solar, hydrogen, storage and green metals technology.

It comes as a YouGov poll commissioned by The Australian, based on a survey sample of almost 19,000 voters across all 151 lower house seats, found Treasurer Josh Frydenberg would lose his Melbourne seat if an election were held today.

Mr Frydenberg, touted as the next Liberal leader, is fighting to keep the electorate of Kooyong against so-called "teal" independent Monique Ryan, who is leading the race 53-47 on a two-party-preferred basis.

Mr Morrison dismissed the polling when he was asked who would be the next treasurer if the party lost the seat.

"That is not something I'm speculating on ... Josh Frydenberg will be my treasurer," he told reporters.

"I still don't know who Anthony Albanese's defence minister is going to be, I don't know who his home affairs minister is going to be."

Mr Morrison said the clean energy investment would "turbo charge" existing investments in hydrogen and create jobs around Australia, particularly in the Hunter.

"A strong economy needs the collaboration and partnerships of our university sector, our scientific community and our entrepreneurs who can make it all happen," Mr Morrison said.

Mr Morrison started Wednesday in the nearby electorate of Shortland, within the Hunter region, which is held by Labor on a 4.4 per cent margin.

He then visited the NSW seat of Robertson, meeting with his MP Lucy Wicks, to commit $1.4 million in an election pledge for regional youth support services to build a new youth hub.

Graffiti scrawled on a front yard wall within the electorate read "Scomo is a liar".

A community hall will also receive a $137,000 upgrade so it can be used as a disaster relief centre, under a re-elected Morrison government.

Members of the Country Women's Association, who will receive the funding for the conversion of their hall, spoke with Mr Morrison telling him "we're more than scones".

"Scones are pretty good though," the prime minister replied.

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