Australian government upgrading JOC headquarters: The Australian government announced it will invest more than $31 million in the first tranche of a two-tranche project that will provide additional infrastructure for Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC) in Bungendore, near Canberra, to support the doubling of the facility’s original capacity. Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said HQJOC and its supporting infrastructure must expand to accommodate a significant increase in personnel needed to plan and conduct operations on a daily basis, in Australia and abroad. “HQJOC is not only key for the defence of Australia, but also the protection of our borders in these challenging geostrategic times,” Reynolds said. “We have seen the vital role HQJOC played in the Australian government’s response to the Black Summer bushfires and COVID-19. This investment will improve the facility’s capacity to support the Australian Defence Force’s response to domestic and international crises. When the expansion is complete, HQJOC will house up to 1,400 personnel, doubling its capacity from when it was originally built in 2008, to cater for increasingly complex multi-domain operations including cyber and space. This increase in the number of personnel based at HQJOC over the coming years will provide a significant boost to the local Bungendore economy on an ongoing basis.” Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said this investment “will support our commitment to maximise local industry involvement in Defence projects. This first tranche of works extends out to mid-2022 and will provide a valuable opportunity for small businesses in Bungendore and Queanbeyan. The project will support construction jobs and ensure economic benefits flow to a region that has seen its share of recent challenges,” Price said. Work on the project is expected to commence in August this year and will include the delivery of security accreditation works, a 1.9 megawatt solar farm, a car park upgrade, and site preparation works ahead of the next tranche of work that is expected to commence in 2022.

JOC headquartersAustralia delivers security conference equipment to Pacific Island nations: Australia has delivered the first of more than 30 planned virtual conferencing systems to partner security agencies across the Pacific, beginning with Vanuatu and Fiji. The systems will enable regional security leaders to participate in the virtual Joint Heads of Pacific Security (JHoPS) event in late 2020, as well as ongoing engagement, training and responses to regional situations including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The systems will also be delivered to Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Palau, Timor-Leste, Kiribati, Cook Islands, Federal States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Niue and Nauru. The Microsoft Surface Hub virtual conferencing systems are being delivered over the coming months through a combination of Air Force, humanitarian corridor and existing commercial flights.

JOC headquartersUpgrades set for Wagga Wagga defence facilities: Wagga Wagga Defence sites will benefit from the Australian government’s $10 billion investment over the next decade into New South Wales Defence facilities. As forecast through the recently released 2020 Force Structure Plan, Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the government’s redevelopment of Wagga Wagga bases will ensure the city’s continued strategic importance to the defence of Australia. “The projects include the redevelopment of facilities at Blamey Barracks – Kapooka and RAAF Base Wagga,” Reynolds said. “Wagga Wagga’s Defence bases provide initial training for every soldier, airman and airwoman in the Army and Air Force. Many Non-Commissioned Officers and officers post to Wagga as instructors at some stage in their career. Wagga Wagga will continue to play a vital role building the ADF Australia needs by shaping the ADF’s biggest asset – its people.” Details on specific projects will be announced as the projects develop, and will include information to help local businesses position themselves to maximise their opportunities to win work through the Government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative.

JOC headquartersSenator applauds new Australian defence spending: Australian Senator David Fawcett said he welcomed the new 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan announced by the government and said as chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, he recognised the growing challenges in the Indo-Pacific and welcomed the Australian government’s explicit recognition that “we no longer have a warning period of years to prepare for major threats to regional peace and security. It’s clear that we need to adapt to intensifying threats arose the continuum of non-linear warfare, to keep Australians safe while protecting the country’s interests in a changing global environment,” Fawcett said. “While the 2016 Defence White Paper has seen substantial progress in building a more potent, capable and agile Australian Defence Force, the drivers of change identified in the White Paper have accelerated faster than anticipated. Australia’s security environment is changing quickly, with militarisation, disruptive technological change and new grey zone threats making our region less safe. Alongside policy realignment, the Australian government is investing significantly – $270 billion over the next 10 years – in capabilities to give Australia better situational awareness and to support regional engagement, while substantially increasing our air and sea lift capability to ensure we can rapidly respond to threats as required. In addition, our government are ensuring Defence has more resilient supply chains and a stronger sovereign defence industry to ensure that Defence force equipment is available when it is needed, effective against evolving threats and affordable over the life of the equipment. This investment will also create more high-tech Australian jobs and enhance the ADF’s sovereign capability.”

JOC headquartersGerman-Australian Chamber weighs in on Technology Investment Roadmap: When the Australian government presented “Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap” in May, it asked for feedback and input from any organisation keen on contributing to Australia’s energy future. The German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK Australia) prepared and submitted a document to this process. The chamber is looking forward to working with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, the Chief Scientist, and other stakeholders to improve Australia’s energy system through technology investment. “We believe there are important technologies available to address Australia’s need for sustainable, reliable and affordable energy. The German-Australian business community, as well as experiences and projects from Germany, can significantly support Australia’s development in this key sector,” said Christoph von Spesshardt, executive director, AHK Australia. The chamber’s submission complements an ongoing dialogue with the German government. The roadmap comes at a time when Germany has also announced a national hydrogen strategy. The submission document focuses on key technologies such as hydrogen, energy efficiency, gas, insulation, battery systems, heat pumps, renewables, and electric vehicles. “If you have to select just one area of particularly strong bilateral interest currently, the choice would be hydrogen and particularly ‘green hydrogen’,” said Dr Michael Zettinig, director of Governmental Affairs & Communications at AHK Australia.

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