New facilities for Defence’s CH-47 Chinook helicopters at RAAF Base Townsville are being constructed using local companies and employees.

The project includes new aircraft shelters, a support facility, working accommodation and tarmac parking for three Chinooks for the 5th Aviation Regiment.

“Some 90 per cent of the project is being delivered by local businesses,” Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said. “Through our Local Capability Industry Plan we’ve ensured that local businesses deliver the lion’s share of this project.

“With so much uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a welcome boost to the local economy.”

Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said the project manager Aurecon has engaged a local design team, Conrad Gargett and local construction personnel, under the contractor, LendLease.

“We’re doing a significant amount of work on local Defence infrastructure at the moment and I’m always pushing for our very capable local contractors to be involved so it’s great to see that happening with this project,” Thompson said.

Two local students from James Cook University have also been employed and will be working with LendLease on the project based at RAAF Base Townsville.

Thompson said the timing of these works, especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic, is providing important support for the local economy.

“The project is expected to be complete later this year with around 400 workers directly participating in the consutruction of the new facilities, with the overwhelming majority of these Townsville locals,” Thompson said.

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