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

Joint media release

  • Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

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 Queensland 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.

Through this Plan, there will be a $3 billion investment over the coming decade into the refresh and redevelopment of Defence facilities in Queensland including:

  • Southern Queensland sites including Gallipoli Barracks (Enoggera), Swartz Barracks (Oakey), Borneo Barracks (Cabarlah), Kokoda Barracks (Canungra) and RAAF Base Amberley; and
  • Northern Queensland sites including Lavarack Barracks (Townsville), RAAF Base Townsville, RAAF Base Scherger; HMAS Cairns; and Shoalwater Bay and Townsville Field training areas.

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 Queensland.

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

Over the 12 months to March 2020, Defence has invested around $3 billion in Queensland. Examples of key programs and activities in Queensland include:

  • The supply of medium and heavy trailers to support Army’s field vehicles providing around 95 jobs
  • Satellite ground station delivery planning and management and planning for Defence operations maintaining around 20 highly skilled jobs
  • The provision of tactical communications networks for the Army supporting around 245 jobs
  • The sustainment of hydrographic ships and associated vessels at facilities in Cairns supporting approximately 120 jobs
  • Support, maintenance and training services for Army’s rotary fleet at Oakey supporting around 175 jobs
  • Sustainment management of the KC-30 air-to-air refuelling capability supporting around 270 jobs
  • Maintenance and upgrades of the Australian-built Bushmaster providing around 80 jobs to ensure ADF personnel are protected against explosive and ballistic threats on the battlefield.

Significantly, the Morrison Government is investing $5.2 billion to deliver, 211 Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles, 186 of which will be built in South East Queensland.

Today, Queensland is home to around 28,000 Defence personnel, including ADF permanent and reserve members and Australian Public Service employees. This number is forecasted to grow over 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 Queensland can have confidence that this Government will ensure that we can defend our nation and protect our interests today and into the future.

/Public Release. View in full here.