MILLIONS of dollars will be poured into the Central Queensland economy as a consequence of two defence force projects to upgrade the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area.
The Capricornia Major Projects Forum in Rockhampton yesterday heard from defence spokesmen John Pollard and Sean Hawkins, who revealed the Australian Defence Force's ambitious plans for the region and how local businesses could become involved.
In July, the business case was approved by the Federal Government for the Shoalwater Bay Remediation Project.
Lieutenant Colonel Pollard, the project director, revealed some of the specific plans for the $120-$140 million project which aimed to look after the environment around the training area in a sustainable manner as well as fix and upgrade aging infrastructure.
"Our scope includes roads within the training area, two airfields we'll be conducting works on, we'll be providing a limited camp facility, an area for a field hospital set-up which includes helicopter evacuation landing zones and an urban operations training facility," Lt Col Pollard said.
In another project, the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative, $2.5 billion will to be invested in the Shoalwater Bay training area and a training area in North Queensland with up to 14,000 Singapore troops visiting annually from 2021.
Mr Hawkins, the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative director, said he hoped the project would get government approval towards the end of the year after which time they would begin the process of voluntary land acquisitions and get contracts in place to start delivering infrastructure.
"We're expecting to start construction in 2019 so we've got a fairly rapid period to get through for our detailed design work," he said.
"We're going to have expectations that local goods and services are provided.
"Defence will generally achieve a 55% local procurement outcome, with some effort we can get that up to 75% and what I've been charged with is to get it much higher than that.
"So we're going to aim for 95-100% to meet the minister's direction on local engagement."
Mr Hawkins is working with local business groups like Capricorn Enterprise and Advance Rockhampton to ensure local businesses get the work coming from these big projects.
Mr Hawkins said both projects would tightly coordinate with each other to avoid any unnecessary duplication of infrastructure work.
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