Capricornia MP Michelle Landry with Lawson Geddes at his Couti-Outi property in the proposed Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area expansion area.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry with Lawson Geddes at his Couti-Outi property in the proposed Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area expansion area. contributed

REVEALED: Landry kept in dark by Defence on Shoalwater

NOT EVEN the sitting member, who is also a member of the current government, has seen the Master Plan showing the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry admitted at a press conference this morning for another announcement that she had not yet seen the Master Plan and expected it could be years before it is known how much land will be purchased by the Defence Department.

Defence Minister Marise Payne yesterday announced the Master Plan for the expansion of Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area and Townsville Field Training Area had been finalised, however, there were no exact details about how much land would be acquired - just dot points on Google interactive maps showing the location of the current facilities.

"I believe that they are keeping the Master Plan secret," she said.

"It is something that Defence and the Minister, and probably the Prime Minister, has access to.

"I was speaking to them yesterday about it and I said I thought that they were going to release the plan.

"They told me that by the request of some of the people - some of the graziers selling land - they do not want those details released. And it is also about national security as well that they do not want foreign countries to know what land they are actually acquiring."

Ms Landry was questioned by reporters if she thought she should see the Master Plan.

"Look, I'm a backbencher so I'm not involved in military details," she said.

"I would like to know what is actually involved with that and I will continue to pursue that, but it's probably a need-to-know basis and I'm sure that's the chiefs of defence, the defence minister.

"The military usually don't divulge what they are doing particularly when its about their training facilities so I'm sure it will all unravel when we see who sells land."

Ms Landry said because there could be 'lease backs' - a transaction where the grazier sells the property to the Defence and then leases it back either partially or part time - it could be several years before the general public knows what land was sold.

She said the whole project with the Singaporeans and the Australian military using that facility doesn't ramp up until about 2020.

"So we are still quite a few years away from that," Ms Landry said.



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