Billions for Shoalwater project secures work for CQ locals
STATE of the art technology and a busy local force feature prominently in the massive plan to upgrade the Shoalwater Bay Training Area.
Expected to commence construction in 2019, the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative (ASMTI ) project will invest $2.5 billion to upgrade the Shoalwater Bay training area and a North Queensland training area over 25 years.
The project would see the current 4000 Singapore troops visiting once a year increased to 14000 Singapore troops, visiting bi-annually in nine week blocks, from 2021.
Yesterday, the Assistant Minister for Defence Senator David Fawcett and Capricornia MP Michelle Landry visited CQUniversity to announce Laing O'Rourke as the successful managing contractor for the ASMITI.
Delighted to be awarded the contract, Laing O'Rourke's managing director Cathal O'Rourke said they were focused on forging partnerships and sourcing a local workforce in which they could embed skill-sets, grow local capacity and leave behind a lasting legacy.
Senator David Fawcett said if you wanted to build and maintain a facility over 20 or 30 years, having a local design and build workforce capability on hand was more cost beneficial for future work on the facility.
Ms Landry said lauded the announcement as a "great step forward" for the CQ region, delivering jobs and opportunities.
"The lasting benefits for this region will be many and varied because of Laing O'Rourke's tender's 80% local content," Ms Landry said.
"This high level of local content means as much as $660 million will be injected into the local economy," said Ms Landry.
Ms Landry was also pleased to see Laing O'Rourke partnering with CQUniversity to deliver relevant training for the local workforce, helping them take advantage of not only this project, but many others across the globe.
"This is what it's all about, ensuring local people and local businesses are able to get more out of major local projects like these upgrades to Shoalwater Bay," said Ms Landry.
Given the 25 year timeframe involved, ADF Brigadier Mark Brewer was excited about the future facility innovations, stitching together simulated and live environments, incorporating technology into the landscape as well as robotics and autonomous systems, which would interact with soldiers.