Feb 26, 2016

Defence plan delivers for regional Queensland

Defence plan delivers for regional Queensland

Regional Queensland is set to benefit from a raft of investment projects outlined in the 2016 Defence White Paper released this week.

The Federal Government proposes to increase Defence spending by $29.9 billion over the next decade to deliver the strategies and plans set out in the document.

Proposed investment for the Townsville region includes:

  • – Upgrades at Lavarack Barracks to support new and upgraded land combat and amphibious warfare capabilities, representing an investment over the next decade of about $50 million. (An additional $550 million planned from 2025/26 out to 2035/36).
  • – Updating facilities at RAAF Base Townsville over the next 10 years with an additional $100 million investment to support the introduction of the F‑35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. (An additional $500 million planned from 2025/26 to 2035/36).
  • – Redeveloping the Townsville Field Training Area with an investment of about $20 million in the decade to 2025-26. (Further investment of about $110 million between 2025-26 and 2035-36).

Member for Herbert Ewen Jones said he would be looking to convene a roundtable with relevant local stakeholders to discuss how the city could leverage the opportunities presented in the Defence White Paper.

Proposed investment for the Cairns region includes:

  • – Development of additional wharf space and other support facilities, including for Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) to be based in Cairns. These improvements represent an investment in HMAS Cairns of about $120 million in the decade to 2025/26. (A further $300 million planned in the decade between 2025/26 and 2035/36).
  • – New infrastructure at RAAF Base Scherger (Weipa) to support the introduction of the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter with an investment of about $20 million in the decade to 2025/26. (About $110 million planned in the decade between 2025/26 and 2035/36).

Proposed investment for the Rockhampton-Livingstone region includes:

  • – Upgrading Shoalwater Bay Training Area to support the range of new land combat and amphibious warfare capabilities over the decade to 2025/26, representing an investment of up to $150 million. (An additional investment of around $40 million is planned for the decade between 2025/26 and 2035/36).

Proposed investment for the Darling Downs region includes:

  •  – Upgrading the Army Aviation Training Centre facilities at Swartz Barracks in Oakey over the decade to 2025/26 to support the new CH-47F Chinook and MRH-90 troop lift helicopter capabilities, and to support other training programs. This represents an investment of about $30 million in the decade to 2025/26. (An additional $300 million planned between 2025/26 and 2035/36).
  •  – Upgrading facilities at Borneo Barracks at Cabarlah to support land force capability. This represents an investment of around $100 million in the decade to 2025/26. (An additional $30 million between 2025/26 and 2035/36).

The 2016 Defence White Paper, Integrated Investment Program and Defence Industry Policy Statement are available at www.defence.gov.au/whitepaper

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