Morrison Government’s Defence strategy to deliver jobs and investment to ACT

Joint media release

  • Minister for Defence Industry, The Hon Melissa Price MP
  • Senator for the ACT, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja

The Morrison Government’s updated Defence Strategy and ongoing commitment to maximising Australian industry involvement in Defence capability projects will create new jobs and investment in the Australian Capital Territory over the coming decade and beyond.

As detailed in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan released by Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP and Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC today, the Government will invest a record $270 billion in Defence capability and infrastructure over the next decade across Australia.

The ACT provides essential support to our nation’s defence capability. Defence’s Headquarters and key policy, intelligence, security, training, and communications capabilities are based in the ACT.

Through this Plan, there will be around $1.3 billion invested over the coming decade into the refresh and redevelopment of Defence facilities in the ACT including:

  • HMAS Harman, Russell Offices, the Australian Defence College at Weston, the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Royal Military College Duntroon

Local industry involvement in the delivery of these projects will be maximised through this Government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative. This ensures that local suppliers, contractors and tradies have the opportunity to secure more of this work, creating more jobs in local communities.

This investment comes on top of the Government’s significant investment in building and sustaining Australian Defence Force capability in the ACT.

Over the 12 months to March 2020, Defence has invested around $4 billion in the ACT. Examples of key programs and activities in the ACT include:

  • Radar development for the maritime platforms, air platforms and short range ground based air defence capabilities, sustaining approximately 295 jobs
  • Satellite Ground stations and network management systems for planning and conduct of satellite communications operations supporting approximately 45 jobs
  • Deployable command and intelligence computer systems supporting approximately 85 jobs

The ACT will remain the location for ADF Headquarters, the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group and the Australian Signals Directorate. Continued investment will be made to support the necessary sustainment of leasing and facilities upgrades, and expansion of the command and control nodes.

Today, the ACT is home to over 17,500 Defence personnel, including ADF permanent and reserve members and Australian Public Service employees. This number is forecast to grow in coming years.

The policies and investment in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan will make the ADF more capable for the wide range of scenarios Australia will face in the future, more agile to rapid changes, and more potent if a situation should call for it.

What is more, much of this investment in Australia’s defence capabilities will go directly to Australian industry, creating jobs and skills. This Government’s investment in defence capability is already benefitting around 15,000 Australian businesses, who support around 70,000 Australian workers. These numbers are set to increase in line with these new opportunities for Australian industry.

This is a comprehensive plan to further build the resilience, agility and capability of the ADF, and create a more secure and safe Australia. The people of the ACT can have confidence that this Government will ensure that we can defend our nation and protect our interests today and into the future.

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