(Updated with Australian Capital Territory jobs and projects)

The government’s updated Defence Strategy announced on 1 July is being touted as a way not only to ensure the country’s defence but also a way to create new jobs and investments in the country for the next 10 years. The government outlined jobs and industry that will benefit in Western Australia and in New South Wales. As detailed in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan released by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds, the government will invest a record $270 billion in Defence capability and infrastructure over the next decade across Australia.

Western Australia

HMAS Arunta returns to the water after significant upgrades by BAE Systems at Henderson Dockyard, Western Australia. (PHOTO: Kylie Jagiello)

Critical Australian Defence Force operational bases, maritime, air, land, Special Forces, intelligence, space capabilities, and training facilities are based in Western Australia. Defence’s presence and investment in northern Australia, including in Western Australia, will gradually increase to support a more capable future force and a more active defence posture. Through the new plan, there will be a $2.5 billion investment over the coming decade into the refresh and redevelopment of Defence facilities in Western Australia including: Irwin Barracks, Defence Establishment Harold E Holt, RAAF Base Curtin, RAAF Base Pearce, RAAF Base Learmonth, Campbell Barracks, Yampi Sound Training Area and HMAS Stirling. Over the decade, Defence investment will include significant redevelopment and expansion of HMAS Stirling in direct support of the Collins Class and Attack Class submarine programs, Hunter Class Frigates, and Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels. Investment will also be made to harden our northern airbases.

Local industry involvement in the delivery of these projects will be maximised through this government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative. This ensures that local suppliers, contractors and trades have the opportunity to secure more of this work, creating more jobs for local communities in Western Australia.

This investment comes on top of the government’s significant investment in building and sustaining Australian Defence Force capability in Western Australia.

Over the 12 months to March 2020, Defence has invested around $1.4 billion in Western Australia. Examples of key programs and activities in Western Australia include:

  • The sustainment, upgrade, maintenance and support for the ANZAC Class frigates, supporting approximately 205 jobs
  • Operation of the C-band radar and space telescope at Exmouth supporting around 215 jobs
  • The delivery of fast jet flight training at RAAF Base Pearce supporting over 185 jobs

The government is already progressing the build of up to 45 naval vessels in Western Australia at the Henderson Maritime Precinct, which over the decade is expected to support around 700 direct jobs in the build phase alone. These include the build of:

  • 10 Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels
  • 6 Cape Class Patrol Boats
  • 21 Guardian Class Pacific Patrol Boats
  • Up to 8 mine hunters and hydrographic survey vessels

Today, Western Australia is home to around 7,800 Defence personnel, including ADF permanent and reserve members and Australian Public Service employees. This number is forecast to grow over the coming years.

New South Wales

Fleet Base East Garden Island. (PHOTO: RAN)

The new Defence plan foresees a $10 billion investment over the coming decade into the refresh and redevelopment of Defence facilities in New South Wales including:

  • The redevelopment of the Garden Island Defence Precinct, Sydney
  • The modernisation of Headquarters Joint Operations Command at Bungendore
  • The redevelopment and upgrade of several Sydney-area sites including: HMAS Waterhen, HMAS Watson, HMAS Penguin, Holsworthy Barracks, Randwick Barracks, Victoria Barracks, RAAF Base Richmond, Defence Establishment Orchard Hills and the Defence Mulwala Facility
  • The redevelopment and upgrade of sites in regional NSW including HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell, Blamey Barracks Kapooka, Singleton Barracks, RAAF Base Williamtown and Twofold Bay, Eden.
  • Local industry involvement in the delivery of these projects will be maximised through this Government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative. This ensures that local suppliers, contractors and trades have the opportunity to secure more of this work, creating more jobs for local communities in New South Wales.

Over the 12 months to March 2020, Defence has invested around $5.3 billion in New South Wales. Examples of key programs and activities in New South Wales include:

  • The production of steel to support Australian shipbuilding programs delivered from BlueScope contributes to maintaining the workforce at Port Kembla.
  • The production of small boats, autonomous underwater vehicles and hydrographic surveying sensors for the delivery of Navy’s Rapid Environmental Assessment capability supporting around 25 jobs.
  • Upgrade of equipment for Air Force’s C-130J fleet supporting approximately 30 jobs
  • The sustainment of the new Air Warfare Destroyer fleet in Sydney supporting around 190 jobs.
  • The delivery of fast-jet training at Newcastle supporting around 295 jobs.
  • The operation of the Mulwala munitions facility sustaining approximately 350 jobs.
  • In addition to being the homeport for around half of Navy’s surface combatant fleet, New South Wales will also play an important role supporting investment in new cyber technologies, communications and ICT facilities, and enhancement of intelligence capability.

Today, New South Wales is also home to over 30,300 Defence personnel, including ADF permanent and reserve members and Australian Public Service employees. This number is forecast to grow in the coming years. Combined with the planned future deliveries of platforms such as the Joint Strike Fighter and a more advanced naval force, the government’s plans will deliver substantial benefits to New South Wales.

South Australia

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Collins Class submarines HMAS Collins, HMAS Farncomb, HMAS Dechaineux and HMAS Sheean. (PHOTO: RAN)

South Australia is at the forefront of the government’s plan to ensure that Australia has the maritime capabilities to defend Australia and its interests over the coming decades, supported by a world-class, sustainable naval shipbuilding industry. Through this plan, there will around $2.6 billion invested over the coming decade into the refresh and redevelopment of Defence facilities in South Australia including:

  • Bases in the greater Adelaide area including the Edinburgh Defence Precinct and Keswick Barracks.
  • Bases in regional South Australia including the Woomera Range Complex, Cultana Training Area and Port Wakefield Proof and Experimental Establishment to ensure that Defence’s training and testing facilities effectively support our current and future Defence capability.

Local industry involvement in the delivery of these projects will be maximised through this Government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative. This ensures that local suppliers, contractors and trades have the opportunity to secure more of this work, creating more jobs for local communities in South Australia. This investment comes on top of the Government’s significant investment in building and sustaining Australian Defence Force capability in South Australia.

Over the 12 months to March 2020, Defence has invested around $3.4 billion in South Australia. Examples of key program and activities in South Australia include:

  • The construction of the world’s most advanced digital shipyard at Osborne South that has supported over 500 jobs at the height of construction.
  • The construction of the new submarine yard at Osborne North over the next three years which will generate over 500 jobs at its peak.
  • Major mid-life redesign of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network supporting around 270 jobs.
  • Upgrades to the Woomera Test Range supporting around 15 ongoing jobs.

The government is already progressing towards the build of 23 naval vessels in South Australia, which are expected to support the creation of more than 5,000 direct jobs. These naval vessels include:

  • 12 regionally superior Attack Class submarines
  • 9 Hunter Class frigates
  • 2 Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels

In addition to South Australia being the centrepiece of the government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan, significant upgrades and infrastructure development will occur over the decade to strengthen South Australia’s role as a control centre of the ADF’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance airborne platforms, as well as space situational awareness capabilities. Beyond these roles, South Australia will be a vital part of Defence’s footprint supporting situational awareness capabilities, electronic warfare, and research and development activities in the future.

Today, South Australia is home to around 9,000 Defence personnel, including ADF permanent and reserve members and Australian Public Service employees. This number is forecast to grow over the coming years.

Northern Territory

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US Marines in Darwin. (PHOTO: ADF)

Critical Australian Defence Force operational bases, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and training facilities are based in the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory is also vital to Australia’s continued support to the implementation of United States Force Posture Initiatives, which both support enhanced US engagement in our region and provide the Australian Defence Force with improved training opportunities and closer interoperability with US forces. Through the government’s plan, over $8 billion will be invested over the coming decade into the refresh and redevelopment of Defence facilities in the Northern Territory including:

  • Robertson Barracks, Larrakeyah Defence Precinct including HMAS Coonawarra, Bradshaw Field Training Area and Defence Establishment Berrimah.
  • RAAF Base Tindal including upgrading facilities to support KC-30 aircraft operations and the US Enhanced Air Cooperation initiative.
  • The upgrade of Northern Territory ranges and training areas in support of the US Force Posture Initiatives.

Local industry involvement in the delivery of these projects will be maximised through this Government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative. This ensures that local suppliers, contractors and trades have the opportunity to secure more of this work, creating more jobs for local communities in the Northern Territory. The investment comes on top of the government’s significant investment in building and sustaining Australian Defence Force capability in the Northern Territory. Over the 12 months to March 2020, Defence has invested around $500 million in the Northern Territory. Examples of key programs and activities in the Northern Territory include:

  • Support for the Jindalee Operational Radar Network at Harts Range and Mt Everard sites supporting approximately 305 jobs.
  • Sustainment elements for the Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter fleet supporting around 55 jobs.
  • Sustainment, maintenance and repair for the Armidale class patrol boats supporting around 145 jobs.

In addition to being a future homeport of the Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels and its network of small to medium enterprises working in the maritime and light to heavy vehicle sustainment sector, the Northern Territory will also play an important role providing the infrastructure and logistics needed for the ADF to operate further towards our northern approaches. Today, the Northern Territory is also home to over 6,000 Defence personnel, including ADF permanent and reserve members and Australian Public Service employees. This number is forecast to grow in the coming years.

Tasmania

Australia Maritime College. (PHOTO: RAN)

Defence plans to fund the expansion and upgrade of Hobart Airport and storage facilities to support increased ADF and civilian long range operations in the Southern Ocean. Local industry involvement in the delivery of this project will be maximised through this government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative. This ensures that local suppliers, contractors and trades have the opportunity to secure more of this work, creating more jobs in local communities.

Defence industry has a modest but growing presence in Tasmania. The maritime domain is the primary focus for defence businesses in Tasmania, many of which are small to medium enterprises within the supply chains of larger defence programs.

Additionally, Launceston is home to the Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania, which is a key partner of the Naval Shipbuilding College. Following a $30 million commitment by the government, development is already underway for a Tasmanian Defence Innovation and Design Precinct, adjacent to the Australian Maritime College, to leverage and build on existing Tasmanian defence infrastructure and development and manufacturing capabilities.

Today, a number of Defence bases and science and technology capabilities are based in Tasmania supporting around 1,000 Defence personnel, including ADF permanent and reserve members and Australian Public Service employees. This figure will remain stable into the future.

Victoria

A Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle
A Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle. (PHOTO: ADF)

The Defence plan will invest $3.6 billion over the coming decade into the refresh and redevelopment of Defence facilities in Victoria including:

  • Bases in the greater Melbourne area including Victoria Barracks Melbourne, Simpson Barracks Watsonia, RAAF Base Point Cook, Defence Science and Technology Fishermans Bend.
  • Bases in regional Victoria including the Albury/Wodonga Military Area and the Puckapunyal Military Area.

Local industry involvement in the delivery of these projects will be maximised through this government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative. This ensures that local suppliers, contractors and trades have the opportunity to secure more of this work, creating more jobs for local communities in Victoria. This investment comes on top of the government’s  investment in building and sustaining Australian Defence Force capability in Victoria.

Examples of key programs and activities in Victoria include:

  • The delivery of Next-Generation Medium and Heavy Logistics Trucks and Modules sustaining around 95 jobs.
  • The build of 1,100 Hawkei vehicles for command, liaison, utility and reconnaissance roles supporting around 370 jobs.
  • The sustainment of Army’s battle management system supporting around 75 jobs.
  • The manufacture of ADF combat uniforms in Bendigo sustaining around 105 jobs.
  • The supply of munitions for the ADF from Benalla supporting approximately 300 jobs.

Defence’s own imagery analysis, including the capability provided by the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation’s Geospatial Analysis Centre at Bendigo is already enhancing Defence’s imagery and targeting capability to support ADF operations.

The government will invest in an additional regiment of self-propelled howitzers, doubling the operational fleet. This is a significant increase to the 2019 commitment to build 30 self-propelled howitzers and 15 armoured ammunition vehicles in Geelong, and will provide vital capability for Army to complement existing land-based strike capabilities.

The government will also continue construction and maintenance of the Australian-built Bushmaster and Hawkei protected mobility vehicles in Victoria to ensure ADF personnel are protected against explosive and ballistic threats on the battlefield.

Today, Victoria is home to around 15,000 Defence personnel, including ADF permanent and reserve members and Australian Public Service employees supporting key facilities, as well as intelligence, and science and technology capabilities. This number is forecast to grow over the coming years.

Queensland

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A Boxer recon vehicle. (PHOTO: ADF)

The government said it would invest $3 billion over the coming decade into the refresh and redevelopment of Defence facilities in Queensland including:

  • Southern Queensland sites including Gallipoli Barracks (Enoggera), Swartz Barracks (Oakey), Borneo Barracks (Cabarlah), Kokoda Barracks (Canungra) and RAAF Base Amberley.
  • Northern Queensland sites including Lavarack Barracks (Townsville), RAAF Base Townsville, RAAF Base Scherger; HMAS Cairns; and Shoalwater Bay and Townsville Field training areas.

Local industry involvement in the delivery of these projects will be maximised through this Government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative. This ensures that local suppliers, contractors and trades have the opportunity to secure more of this work, creating more jobs for local communities in Queensland. This investment comes on top of the government’s investment in building and sustaining Australian Defence Force capability in Queensland.

Examples of key programs and activities in Queensland include:

  • The supply of medium and heavy trailers to support Army’s field vehicles providing around 95 jobs.
  • Satellite ground station delivery planning and management and planning for Defence operations maintaining around 20 highly skilled jobs.
  • The provision of tactical communications networks for the Army supporting around 245 jobs
  • The sustainment of hydrographic ships and associated vessels at facilities in Cairns supporting approximately 120 jobs.
  • Support, maintenance and training services for Army’s rotary fleet at Oakey supporting around 175 jobs.
  • Sustainment management of the KC-30 air-to-air refuelling capability supporting around 270 jobs.
  • Maintenance and upgrades of the Australian-built Bushmaster providing around 80 jobs to ensure ADF personnel are protected against explosive and ballistic threats on the battlefield.

The government is also investing $5.2 billion to deliver 211 Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles, 186 of which will be built in South East Queensland. Today, Queensland is home to around 28,000 Defence personnel, including ADF permanent and reserve members and Australian Public Service employees. This number is forecasted to grow over the coming years.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

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The ADF headquarters and the main offices of the Department of Defence are located in the Russell Offices complex in Canberra.

The ACT provides essential support to Australia’s defence capability. Defence’s headquarters and key policy, intelligence, security, training, and communications capabilities are based in the ACT. The government said it would invest $1.3 billion over the coming decade into the refresh and redevelopment of Defence facilities in the ACT including: HMAS Harman, Russell Offices, the Australian Defence College at Weston, the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Royal Military College Duntroon.

The investment comes on top of the government’s investment in building and sustaining Australian Defence Force capability in the ACT.

Over the 12 months to March 2020, Defence has invested around $4 billion in the ACT. Examples of key programs and activities in the ACT include:

  • Radar development for the maritime platforms, air platforms and short range ground based air defence capabilities, sustaining approximately 295 jobs.
  • Satellite Ground stations and network management systems for planning and conduct of satellite communications operations supporting approximately 45 jobs.
  • Deployable command and intelligence computer systems supporting approximately 85 jobs.

The ACT will remain the location for ADF Headquarters, the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group and the Australian Signals Directorate. Continued investment will be made to support the necessary sustainment of leasing and facilities upgrades, and expansion of the command and control nodes. Today, the ACT is home to over 17,500 Defence personnel, including ADF permanent and reserve members and Australian Public Service employees. This number is forecast to grow in coming years.

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