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

Joint media release

  • Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC
  • Senator for Northern Territory, Senatro Sam McMahon

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 Northern 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.

Critical Australian Defence Force operational bases, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and training facilities are based in the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory is also vital to Australia’s continued support to the implementation of United States Force Posture Initiatives, which both support enhanced US engagement in our region and provide the Australian Defence Force with improved training opportunities and closer interoperability with US forces.

Through this Plan, over $8 billion will be invested over the coming decade into the refresh and redevelopment of Defence facilities in the Northern Territory including:

  • Robertson Barracks, Larrakeyah Defence Precinct including HMAS Coonawarra, Bradshaw Field Training Area and Defence Establishment Berrimah.
  • RAAF Base Tindal including upgrading facilities to support KC-30 aircraft operations and the US Enhanced Air Cooperation initiative; and
  • The upgrade of Northern Territory ranges and training areas in support of the US Force Posture Initiatives.

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 for local communities in the Northern Territory.

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

Over the 12 months to March 2020, Defence has invested around $500 million in the Northern Territory. Examples of key programs and activities in the Northern Territory include:

  • Support for the Jindalee Operational Radar Network at Harts Range and Mt Everard sites supporting approximately 305 jobs
  • Sustainment elements for the Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter fleet supporting around 55 jobs
  • Sustainment, maintenance and repair for the Armidale class patrol boats supporting around 145 jobs

In addition to being a future homeport of the Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels and its network of small to medium enterprises working in the maritime and light to heavy vehicle sustainment sector, the Northern Territory will also play an important role providing the infrastructure and logistics needed for the ADF to operate further towards our northern approaches.

Today, the Northern Territory is also home to over 6,000 Defence personnel, including ADF permanent and reserve members and Australian Public Service employees. This number is forecast to grow in the 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 Northern Territory 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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