STRONG SUPPORT: Rockhampton Major Joe Simpson, Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Darren Chester, get down to business.
STRONG SUPPORT: Rockhampton Major Joe Simpson, Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Darren Chester, get down to business. Austin King ROK

Push is on to upgrade facilities at Shoalwater Bay

AUSTRALIA'S foremost defence force training facility at Shoalwater Bay could be in for facility upgrades if it ticks all the right boxes.

Defence Minister David Johnston's parliamentary secretary, Darren Chester, yesterday dropped in to Rockhampton after being invited by Michelle Landry to "see Capricornia's contribution to Australia's armed forces".

The Capricornia MP invited Mr Chester to the region in a bid to secure support from the Federal Government for any potential expansions at Shoalwater Bay.

"Defence makes an important economic contribution to Rockhampton and Livingstone Shire and it is great that Darren is showing his support for the community," Ms Landry said. "It's not just Australian defence, but also other overseas military forces that benefit our region, including the Singaporean armed forces which directly inject nearly $4 million into Rockhampton's economy each year."

Ms Landry said there was potential to build certain hangars at Shoalwater Bay, which would have more facilities and further attract stronger support from the US armed forces.

Livingstone Shire Mayor Bill Ludwig was also ticking off boxes with Mr Chester.

Councillor Ludwig and other key Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast businessmen and women yesterday presented a formal proposal to Mr Chester for Federal Government funding to seal the remaining 32km of Stanage Bay Road.

He also took the time to lobby for support from the Australian Department of Defence, in relation to Livingstone Shire Council securing management of the Three Rivers area at Five Rocks. Cr Ludwig said the economic benefit for the region would be huge.



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