• An aerial view of HMAS Watson. Defence
    An aerial view of HMAS Watson. Defence

Work has started on the $430.5 million HMAS Watson redevelopment.

The projects set to be delivered following the sod-turning ceremony include the construction of a new training precinct and new live-in accommodation for 236 trainees. A new medical clinic will be built, while there will also be much-needed upgrades to the existing water, electrical, and communication services.

Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said the project would ensure HMAS Watson continued to support critical Navy training for up to 1300 students per year.

“The enhancement of the RAN's capabilities and expansion of the maritime force outlined in the 2020 Force Structure Plan underlines the importance of HMAS Watson,” Minister Price said. “The base is essential to the sustainment of the current and future force, and requires an appropriate investment in its facilities and infrastructure.

“Defence’s Managing Contractor, Lendlease Building, is committed to local engagement,” Minister Price said. “They have targets to award 95 per cent of their sub-contract packages to businesses located within 60 kilometres of HMAS Watson, and to ensure at least 3 per cent of the project’s workforce is Indigenous.”

The works will be staged to ensure Navy training can continue throughout the construction period, and are scheduled for completion by early 2027.

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