Joint Media Release with Minister For Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne
The Northern Territory continues to play an important part in the defence of our nation, as set out in the 2018-19 Budget.
Minister for Defence, Senator Marise Payne, and Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory Senator and Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, today welcomed the significant investment that Defence is making in the Northern Territory.
The Coalition Government’s first priority is the safety and security of Australia and its people. The 2018-19 Budget will provide national and economic security by continuing to deliver on our ongoing commitments to Defence operations around the globe and the capabilities set out in the 2016 Defence White Paper.
Minister Payne said the Northern Territory is home to over 5,100 defence personnel, over 2,200 Defence Housing Australia properties, and a number of key operational bases, including HMAS Coonawarra, Robertson Barracks, and RAAF Bases Tindal and Darwin, and a number of important training areas including Bradshaw Field and Mount Bundy. Defence is on track to spend over $800 million directly in the Territory in 2017-18, including estate services, salaries, capital works and other expenditure.
“The Northern Territory is vitally important to the Australian Defence Force and the Turnbull Government is continuing to invest strongly in capability, personnel and facilities in the Territory as a key outcome of our 2016 Defence White Paper and $200 billion investment in Defence capability,” Minister Payne said.
“As new capabilities come on line, the Turnbull Government is investing in the facilities and infrastructure to support them and ensure that the ADF can use them effectively and appropriately.”
“Further, our Local Industry Capability Plan initiative is ensuring that local businesses and trades in the Territory have the best opportunity possible to secure work on our important Defence infrastructure projects.”
Minister Payne also said that this year’s Exercise Pitch Black, the RAAF’s leading domestic air exercise, will directly inject around $4.2 million into the Territory.
“Exercises like Pitch Black bring ADF members from all over the country, along with visiting Defence Forces from other nations, to the Northern Territory, which supports the local economy.”
Senator Scullion said the Northern Territory had a long history of supporting the Australian Defence Force and that the 2018-19 Budget demonstrated the Government’s confidence in the Territory.
“The Territory is home to thousands of ADF personnel and their families, who bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the economy, as well as the influx we see each year with the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin as part of the United States Force Posture Initiatives,” Senator Scullion said.
“The opportunities available for local Territory businesses to secure millions of dollars in work as Defence upgrades its facilities in the Territory over the coming years are significant and I’m proud that the Turnbull Government is demonstrating its commitment to local businesses to deliver on this important work.”
In 2018-19, work will continue or begin on a range of facilities projects including:
- the New Air Combat Capability Facilities Project, which is providing new and upgraded facilities and infrastructure to support the introduction of the Joint Strike Fighter around the country, including at RAAF Base Tindal in Katherine. Expenditure at RAAF Base Tindal in 2018-19 is budgeted to be $128.7 million, in addition to the $224.7 million expended to date.
- the Maritime Patrol Aircraft Replacement facilities project, which will provide new and upgraded facilities and infrastructure to support the introduction of the P-8A aircraft around the country, including at RAAF Base Darwin. Expected expenditure at RAAF Base Darwin in 2018-19 is $75.6 million.
- the Explosive Ordnance Logistics Reform Program, which addresses explosive ordnance storage capacity shortfalls through delivery of new and enhanced explosive ordnance facilities around the country, including at RAAF Base Darwin. Proposed expenditure at RAAF Base Darwin in 2018-19 is $13.7 million. This Program is one of our Local Industry Capability Plan pilots.
- the Air Traffic Control Complex Infrastructure and Fixed Base Defence Air Traffic Management and Control System project, which is upgrading air traffic management supporting infrastructure around the country, including at RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal. Expected expenditure at Darwin is $19.7 million in 2018-19, in addition to the $8.6 million invested there to date; and $7.9 million at Tindal, in addition to the $33.7 million invested there to date.
- the Joint Health Command Garrison Health Facilities Upgrade project, which addresses issues of limited investment and building obsolescence and will enable increased efficiency of health service delivery to members of the ADF around the country, including at Robertson Barracks and Larrakeyah Barracks. Expected expenditure in the Northern Territory is $25.7 million in 2018-19.
- the $74.4 million Delamere Range Facilities Redevelopment project, which is redeveloping key range facilities and infrastructure to enable Growler and Mobile Threat Training Emitter Systems capability at Delamere Air Weapons Range in the Northern Territory. The project is scheduled for completion by late 2018 and will include additional expenditure of $11.6 million in 2018-19, in addition to the $59.7 million invested there to date.
- The Growler Airborne Electronic Attack Capability Facilities project, which will provide necessary working accommodation, maintenance, warehousing and training facilities at the Delamere Weapons Range to support the introduction of the Growler Airborne Electronic Attack Capability. This $349 million project is scheduled for completion by early 2021, with expected expenditure of $16.4 million in 2018-19, in addition to the $46.5 million invested there to date.
Throughout 2018-19, Defence will also be finalising planning and design work on a range of projects including:
- the $300 million project to expand facilities and infrastructure to support the basing of the new Offshore Patrol Vessels at HMAS Coonawarra, as part of the Government’s regeneration of the Royal Australian Navy. This project is anticipated to be considered by the Public Works Committee in late 2018, with construction to commence after that, providing opportunities for small to medium sized industry in the Territory.
- the $260 million Facilities to Support Naval Operations in the North project, which will provide new berthing capabilities to accommodate varying combinations of major surface combatants at HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin, including ready refuelling capabilities. Subject to necessary approvals, construction is planned to commence in late 2018 with completion by late 2023.
- the $212 million Larrakeyah Barracks Redevelopment project, which will provide reliable, flexible and sustainable infrastructure and facilities at Larrakeyah Defence Precinct to address current deficiencies and risks, and enhance future Defence capability. Subject to necessary approval, construction is planned to commence in late 2018 with completion by late 2023.
- the $30 million Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) Facilities Upgrade project, which will provide upgraded facilities and infrastructure to support the upgrade of the JORN capability and extend its life to 2042. Priority works are at the Harts Range and Mount Everard sites in the Northern Territory. Subject to necessary approvals, construction is planned to commence in late 2018 with completion by mid-2021.
In addition, significant work continues on the United States Force Posture Initiatives, which is a $2 billion project that will expand and upgrade Defence infrastructure and facilities in Northern Australia. Both the United States and Australian Governments have committed to a package of infrastructure and facilities works concentrated at Robertson Barracks, RAAF Base Darwin, RAAF Base Tindal and training areas across the Northern Territory. Subject to national and bilateral approvals, construction is expected to start in 2018-19 and continue through to the mid 2020s.
The 2018-19 Budget confirms that the Turnbull Government is committed to keeping our nation safe and secure and will grow Defence spending to two per cent of GDP by 2020-21.