Singapore Armed Forces troops during Exercise Wallaby 2017 at Shoalwater Bay Training Area.
Singapore Armed Forces troops during Exercise Wallaby 2017 at Shoalwater Bay Training Area.

Defence project with Singapore boosts CQ economy by $6M

THREE CQ companies have been awarded almost $6 million in Australia Defence projects at Shoalwater Bay as part of the $2.25 billion Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative.

Minister Defence, Senator Linda Reynolds, made the announcement today while also advising that while Singapore training will continue in CQ this year, Exercise Wallaby, involving thousands of Singapore military personnel, had been cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19.

"Singapore is a close defence partner, with a shared commitment to regional stability. It has conducted training in Australia for almost 30 years," Minister Reynolds said.

"The Government has agreed Singapore's training in Australia can proceed, with strict adherence to COVID-19 quarantine and other requirements. Following close consultation with Singapore, we expect training will be on a smaller scale than previous years due to COVID-19. This includes not proceeding with Exercise Wallaby in 2020."

She said Singapore's training will still carry significant benefits for both countries, including through the ASMTI which will deliver advanced military training areas in Central and North Queensland that meet the future needs of both armed forces.

"We are seeing the real benefits of the ASMTI flowing to the local region with up to 200 contract works packages to be made available over the life of the project, and the projects construction workforce expected to peak at 450 people, as part of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area expansion," she said.

"These contract packages will be key to bolstering growth and supporting jobs as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic."

The following contracts have been awarded for various civil and fencing works:

- JRT Civil (Yeppoon) - Design and construction of a combination of temporary and permanent works associated with access to precincts and hardstands for site establishment.

- Bellequip Pty Ltd (Rockhampton) - Precinct site set up and access including civil works for site compound.

- Tunuba Pty Ltd (Rockhampton) - Delineation fencing.

They are among 15 companies based in Rockhampton and Livingston Shire that have so far been engaged for design and construction of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area expansion.

Minister Defence Industry, Melissa Price MP, said the new contracts were a positive sign for CQ industry and the local economy during a challenging period.

"This is tangible evidence our Local Industry Capability Plan initiative, targeted at maximising opportunity for local businesses to be involved in Defence infrastructure projects, continues to deliver for the region and the Defence portfolio."

Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry MP, said the important Defence work comes at a time when the local economy was trying to move quickly to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It is particularly pleasing that $5.7 million in contracts is going to three businesses based in the Rockhampton and Livingstone Shire regions," Ms Landry said.

"This includes Tunuba Pty Ltd, a joint venture between CQG Consulting and the Darumbal people, who are the Traditional Owners of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and focus on employing locals."



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