Defence Minister Linda Reynolds welcomed the start of construction, saying it was a significant milestone for the joint Australia-Singapore training initiative.
"The Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative will deliver advanced military training areas in central and north Queensland while meeting the future needs of the Australian Defence Force," Minister Reynolds said.
Australia and Singapore enjoy a long history of bilateral and multilateral defence co-operation, through organisations including the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus and the Five Power Defence Arrangements.
Minister Reynolds added, "The Shoalwater Bay Training Area is one of Australia’s most important Defence training areas, and its expansion will not only deepen our defence relationship with Singapore but also support economic growth in the region."
The Australia-Singapore defence relationship includes the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP), which provides for the joint development of military training areas and facilities in Australia and Singapore to continue to exploit the benefits derived from the development of Exercise TRIDENT as the signature bilateral joint military exercise.
Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said this milestone was a boost to the local economy, "To date, local businesses from central and north Queensland have been engaged in the design and construction of the new training area valued at $28 million, creating local jobs and opportunities for the community."
The CSP will enable Australia and Singapore to work together on defence science and technology, in areas including combat systems/command, control, communications, computers and intelligence integration; and cognitive/human systems integration.
"It’s fantastic to see that two Rockhampton-based companies have been awarded contracts worth $5 million to deliver fauna management and fire breaks as part of the expansion of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area. Meanwhile in north Queensland, a Charters Towers based company has been contracted to commence initial fencing and signage work of the expansion, worth around $750,000," Landry added.
The ASMTI is delivering enhanced training areas for the Australian Defence Force in central and north Queensland, enhancing Australia’s bilateral defence relationship with Singapore and providing significant local economic opportunities.
Over the life of the ASMTI, there will be an injection of about $2 billion into Queensland’s regional economies, including an estimated $50 million spent annually during the construction phase.
Additional work packages for fencing, potable water supply,
waste consumption, fuel supply, consumables and quarry products
will be awarded as part of an anticipated 200 sub-contract packages
that will be available over the next five years in central
Defence will hold information sessions in the Charters Towers and Townsville regions as part of the next release of work packages in north Queensland.
Source: Defence Connect - https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/key-enablers/4864-regional-queensland-to-benefit-from-military-training-area-construction