Money for ADF bases to keep Australia ‘battle ready’

By Melissa Coade

Thursday April 29, 2021

Scott Morrison in the NT to announce a $747 million defence infrastructure package.
Scott Morrison in the NT to announce a $747 million defence infrastructure package. (AAP Image/Charlie Bliss)

A federal government announcement of $747 million towards four ADF bases in the Northern Territory will support greater engagement with Australia’s Indo-Pacific neighbours and allies.

Prime minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday the improved training areas and facilities would be used to conduct large scale military exercises across a number of scenarios. 

“Working with the United States and Indo-Pacific neighbours, we will continue to advance Australia’s interests by investing in the Australian Defence Force, particularly across Northern Australia,” Mr Morrison said. 

“Our focus is on pursuing peace, stability and a free and open Indo-Pacific, with a world order that favours freedom.”

A statement issued yesterday afternoon said the upgrades would enable the ADF to ‘conduct simulated training exercises and remain battle ready’.

Defence minister Peter Dutton highlighted the strategic importance of catering to joint training exercises with world class training. He called out the US Marine Rotational Force event in Darwin as one such important engagement exercise with American allies. 

“These works will provide a strong economic benefit to the region, with significant opportunities for the local construction industry and local tradies over a five-year delivery phase program,” Dutton said. 

The multi-million dollar base upgrades are expected to commence later in the year and be completed by mid-2026. 

“Significant opportunities will exist for local Australian industry to bid for almost all of the construction works, planned to be delivered through numerous local sub-contractor packages by Defence’s local Darwin-based Managing Contractor, Sitzler,” Mr Dutton added. 

The PM noted the money was part of a nearly $8 billion defence capital infrastructure works in the NT over the next 10 years. 

A total $270 billion investment in Australia’s defence capability for the next decade would deliver more jobs and better national security, he said. 

“[It will] ensure we have a capable defence force to meet a changing global environment, while backing thousands of ADF men and women with the newest technology and training,” the PM said.

“This investment will also maximise local jobs through a targeted industry plan to contract local businesses throughout the entire supply chain. My commitment is keeping Australians safe and keeping Australians in jobs.”


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