The Northern Territory is set to get a share of a $500 million investment by the Coalition Government that will improve Australia’s space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
The investment will support Australian Defence Force operations around the world and at home, helping to secure our borders.
Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, and Minister for Defence, Marise Payne, recently committed $500 million to improve Defence’s access to commercial satellites to provide information that can be used to support Australia’s defence operations, border protection and humanitarian missions.
Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said $130 million would be spent on ground-based antenna infrastructure to support this new capability at various Defence sites over the 13-year life of the project, including at RAAF Base Tindal at Katherine.
Senator Scullion said this funding was on top of the $8.2 billion allocated under the 2016 Defence White Paper to upgrade Defence facilities in the Northern Territory in the decade to 2025-26.
“There will be opportunities for local industry to secure Defence contracts relating to construction and maintenance of ground-based antenna infrastructure at RAAF Base Tindal, which will be a big boost for local businesses and jobs,” Senator Scullion said.
Minister Payne said the $500 million investment would enhance Australia’s geospatial-intelligence capabilities.
Phase 1 of the project will provide Australia with direct and timelier access to commercial satellite imagery to support a wide range of Defence and national security activities.
“Defence’s enhanced access to these satellites will increase Australia’s capacity to maintain surveillance and improve situational awareness for the Australian Defence Force and other national security agencies through the provision of high-quality imagery,” Minister Payne said.
Minister Pyne said the contracting arrangements would provide improved value for money for the Federal Government when accessing commercial imagery.
“The Turnbull Government is committed to maximising Australian industry content with over $144 million of this project expected to be spent in Australia, which will create jobs and generate economic growth,” Minister Pyne said.