SA must exploit submarine opportunities

AAP

South Australia must exploit every opportunity to capitalise on its massive submarines win, Premier Jay Weatherill says.

Mr Weatherill will on Wednesday night fly to the French port city of Cherbourg, the shipbuilding base of DCNS which has been chosen to build 12 submarines in Adelaide.

The premier says he plans to lobby DCNS officials for the maximum number of jobs and content for the future subs to come from SA.

"That's the purpose of the journey to France," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"To make sure we maximise every opportunity that flow from this contract. Making sure that we have local component suppliers, local ASC workers, Whyalla steelworkers at Arrium.

"Everybody that can get into this contract and get a job out of it. We want to make sure we deliver on that."

Industry officials believe the $50 billion submarines contract could provide a significant boost to the state's construction sector.

The scale of the build means major infrastructure upgrades will likely be required at the commonwealth-owned ASC shipyard in Osborne.

There are also likely to be opportunities for training providers and universities as engineers and other workers acquire new skills.

But while spirits remained high across SA on Wednesday, the prospect of bipartisanship appeared to be sinking.

Opposition Leader Steven Marshall derided Mr Weatherill's French expedition as a taxpayer-funded vanity trip, accusing the premier of seeking to use the announcement to boost his own stocks.

"This is just jumping on a plane, with very little thought, basically to create a photo opportunity," he told reporters.

"It's very difficult to see with such a short period of time between the announcement and the trip that anything useful could be set up."

However, Mr Marshall admitted he would be willing to join a taxpayer-funded delegation to France in the future if he was satisfied there was a suitable program in place.

DCNS is building its new Barracuda nuclear attack submarine at the Cherbourg shipyard in northern France.

The company plans to build a slightly smaller and non-nuclear version, named the Shortfin Barracuda, at ASC's shipyards in Port Adelaide from the early 2020s.