Assistant Minister for Defence Senator David Fawcett announced on September 25 that Laing O’Rourke is the successful bidder for the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) expansion project.
Laing O’Rourke is the managing contractor for the work, to be carried out under the Australian-Singapore Military Training Initiative (ASMTI) and will now begin engaging with local companies in the Rockhampton and Shoalwater Bay region.
“Injecting up to $600 million into the regional economy over a five-year period, the project will deliver enhanced military training areas to the ADF, while fostering Australia’s close relationship with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF),” Senator Fawcett said.
“The construction work, to commence by the end of 2019, will bring significant economic opportunities to the region, create local jobs and investment and support local industry near the SWBTA.”
Senator Fawcett added that Laing O’Rourke has developed a Local Industry Capability Plan (LCIP) to inform local businesses about the scope of work they will have opportunities to bid for.
“Laing O’Rourke has committed to sourcing over 80 per cent of work from the Central Queensland region, ensuring local businesses can take advantages of the opportunities arising from the ASMTI,” he said. “There will be opportunities for industry in the initial facilities and infrastructure construction on the expanded training area, as well as ongoing support for the ADF and SAF.”
Senator Fawcett added that, over the life of the ASMTI, around $2 billion will be injected into Queensland’s regional economies. He said that an estimated $50 million will be spent annually in these regions during the construction phase alone.
The SWBTA expansion is being undertaken under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the governments of Australia and Singapore designed to deliver enhanced training outcomes for both the ADF and SAF. The work is in addition to the SWBTA Remediation Project, which will deliver upgraded facilities and internal road networks within the existing training area between now and 2022.
The ASMTI initiative will also oversee the creation of a new training area near Townsville, in North Queensland, which is also due to begin in 2019 and run over a number of years. Defence’s Estate and Infrastructure Group (E&IG) is currently negotiating with land owners in the area for the voluntary sale of land.
For a more detailed look at the work being undertaken under the ASMTI initiative, as well as the SWBTA Remediation Project, see ‘Enhanced Qld ranges to support ADF and Singapore training’ in the September issue of ADM.