South Australian land exchange

On 10 November 2023, the Australian Government and the South Australian Government signed a land exchange agreement to secure the preferred site for Australia’s construction of conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines at Osborne, South Australia.

Land will also be secured for the Skills and Training Academy that is being designed to deliver tailored education, training and skilling initiatives for Australia’s submarine and naval shipbuilding workforce.

This is a significant milestone towards Australia’s acquisition of conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines.

From December 2023, Australia’s appointed design and construction partner, Australian Naval Infrastructure, will progressively take ownership of key land parcels at Osborne.

The South Australian Government will commence a staged acquisition of Defence-owned land at:

  • Keswick and Smithfield, to support future urban renewal projects in metropolitan Adelaide
  • parts of Cultana Training Area, to facilitate the State’s future renewable energy initiative.

South Australian land exchange site maps (PDF, 784.9 KB)

Future works

Defence and the South Australian Government have agreed to administration arrangements that will support the gradual relocation of Defence services and personnel from Keswick and Smithfield to alternate facilities. 

The arrangements extend to securing Defence’s unrestricted access to Cultana Training Area to ensure critical Defence training exercises and operations continue.

Defence continues to work closely with representatives of the South Australian Government, Australian Naval Infrastructure, and the Australian Submarine Agency regarding the land exchange implementation.

Further consultation regarding implementation of the land exchange will be led by Security and Estate Group. Relevant Defence user groups and stakeholders will be kept informed as this initiative progresses.


On 13 March 2023, the Prime Minister of Australia, in coordination with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the President of the United States, set out Australia’s preferred procurement pathway for the acquisition of conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines.

Under the preferred procurement pathway:

  • Australia will acquire nuclear-powered submarines from its AUKUS partners before Australia’s next-generation nuclear-powered submarines will be constructed in South Australia at an expanded Osborne Naval Shipyard.
  • South Australia will also continue to play a vital role in the sustainment of Australia’s submarine capability, including the life-of-type extension of the Collins class submarines.

On 15 March 2023, the Australian Government and the South Australian Government entered into a cooperation agreement, which sets out responsibilities of each agency to support the delivery of Australia’s next-generation nuclear-powered submarines.