About 2,000 jobs will be supported as a result of the Australian government’s $747 million upgrade of facilities at four Defence training areas in the Northern Territory. Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price today announced NT company Sitzler Pty Ltd had been engaged as the Managing Contractor for the Northern Territory Training Areas and Ranges Upgrades Project. In a major boost for the Northern Territory economy, Sitzler has given the first estimates of the number of people to be employed on the project, with that figure expected to reach 2,000 over the course of the five-year upgrades. The investment is part of a remarkable $15.6 billion the government is spending on Defence capital facilities and infrastructure across Australia over the next four years – a significant increase on the $12.4 billion spent over the past decade. Construction is expected to start in October 2021 and be finished in 2026.
Price said the project – a critical element of the United States Force Posture Initiatives – would have major economic benefits for the NT, with the substantial investment supporting local businesses for the next five years. “This is a major win for small and local businesses across northern Australia, who will be given every opportunity to get involved in this vital Defence project,” Price said. “Sitzler has a target of 98 per cent of the construction sub-contractor packages to businesses within northern Australia. This means the benefits from our investment will flow to small and medium businesses and, most importantly, support local jobs. Sitzler has not only estimated that a 2000-strong workforce will be involved over the life of the project, but about 65 sub-contractor packages will also be available for tender. They will also set an Indigenous participation target of 4 per cent for Indigenous business involvement on the project, which will be directly under the Commonwealth’s Indigenous Participation Policy.”
Construction works will start at Robertson Barracks Close Training Area and Bradshaw Field Training Area first, with staggered works at Kangaroo Flats Training Area and Mount Bundey Training Area to follow later in the program.
“This investment will enhance the levels of integration between the Australian Defence Force and our partners, including the United States Marine Corps,” Price said. “The project will also provide reliable access to suitable military training areas and weapons ranges to meet Australian Defence Force capability requirements.”
Senator for the Northern Territory Dr Sam McMahon said it was great news given she was a strong supporter of the ADF and its personnel. “With the majority of the sub-contracting roles going to businesses in Northern Australia, this will be a tremendous boost to the Territory economy,” McMahon said. “This is another example of Defence investment providing valuable opportunities for local businesses.”