Defence: Regional Australia—Driving Our Economy 2017–18
The Department of Defence (Defence) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) make a significant contribution to the development of regional Australia through the economic activity and community linkages fostered with the establishment of Defence facilities.
The Defence regional workforce develops significant partnerships with local communities, business and government. As at 31 January 2017, the total number of Defence personnel in regional centres across Australia was 27,427, which equates to 28 per cent of the total 98,161 Defence personnel.
The Defence estate consists of 400 properties and 351 leases including bases (72 major bases), training areas and ranges, research facilities and office accommodation. Figure 1 depicts the Defence footprint across Australia.
Defence investment in regional areas and communities includes up to $2.25 billion to be provided by the Singapore Government to support the Australia-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership over the next decade. This initiative will see enhancements to the Townsville and Shoalwater Bay training areas, bringing significant economic opportunities for both regions with the construction of associated facilities and infrastructure. The increased size of the annual Singapore rotations is also expected to provide additional and sustained economic benefits to the local regions.
The construction and presence of Defence facilities in regional areas has significant flow on effects to local economies through increased business to local suppliers and service providers. Defence recognises that there are clear benefits to drawing support from local contractors and suppliers, where there is the capacity and capability available in the local market. The Defence footprint also provides considerable economic, social and environmental support to regional communities through employment, industry, community involvement, childcare facilities, housing, training activities, cooperation on heritage issues and the economic activity of Defence members and their families.
Defence regional community involvement includes supporting local communities through a range of programs including various Defence Community Organisation programs that build the capacity of local communities to provide support services to Defence member families. These programs include financial support to not-for-profit organisations providing local services for Defence families; support to schools to provide additional activities for Defence children; Defence managed child care centres and support for Defence partners seeking employment opportunities in new locations.
Figure 1: Location of major Defence facilities across Australia
Australian-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership—Military Training and Training Area Development in Australia
The Joint Agreement on a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Australia and Singapore announced the two governments would jointly develop training areas and facilities in Australia. The Memorandum of Understanding for this training initiative allows for up to 14,000 Singapore Armed Forces personnel to undertake training for up to 18 weeks in Australia annually, and recognises the need for the enhancement of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and Townsville Field Training Area.
The Singapore Government will provide an investment of up to $2.25 billion to support the enhancement of the two training areas. Pending national and bilateral approvals, infrastructure works are forecast to commence in late 2019 and continue through to approximately 2025. There will be economic opportunities for the Townsville and Rockhampton regions from the construction of facilities and infrastructure on the relevant training areas. It is also expected that the increased size of the annual Singapore rotations will provide additional and sustained economic benefits to the local regions.
Management of Per-and Poly-Fluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) at Defence Bases
The Australian Government set aside funding from the existing Defence budget to provide support to communities affected by PFAS contamination originating from Defence establishments in Williamtown (NSW) and Oakey (QLD). Funding will provide:
- voluntary blood testing;
- an epidemiological study;
- community support initiatives such as counselling and connecting properties to town water sources; and
- remediation and management activities such as providing temporary alternative sources of drinking water.
Defence will continue to implement its program of environmental investigations at a number of communities near Defence establishments across Australia to:
- better understand the nature and extent of PFAS contamination originating from Defence establishments; and
- provide communities with information on Defence investigations and responses.
Additionally Defence will also undertake works to prevent further migration of PFAS from Defence bases. These works will include removing known PFAS source areas, stockpiling contaminated soil and sediment, and establishing on-site water treatment facilities to filter PFAS from groundwater and surface water.
Cairns Marine Precinct Upgrade
The Australian Government has committed $24.0 million over three years from 2016–17 to the Cairns Marine Precinct upgrade, to be implemented by 2020.
The Cairns Marine Precinct upgrade will modernise shipyards within the precinct and improve the capability and capacity of the existing maritime infrastructure to support marine maintenance and sustainment requirements, both Government and commercial.
In December 2016, the Department of Defence transferred $24.0 million to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, to manage the distribution of funds via the Community Development Grants program.
Officers from the Department of Defence and the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development have engaged with stakeholders to discuss the intent of the initiative and the funds distribution process. Stakeholders will identify and develop activities to deliver this intent and, once approved by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and the Australian Government, negotiate agreements for the package of works to be delivered.
Defence Assistance to the Civil Community
Defence Assistance to the Civil Community is the mechanism by which Defence provides both emergency and non-emergency support to the civilian community.
Where the scale of the emergency or disaster exceeds or exhausts the response capacity and capabilities of a State or Territory, or where resources cannot be mobilised in time, Australian Government assistance may be sought through Emergency Management Australia, including from the ADF.
Emergency Defence Assistance to the Civil Community provides support to the civilian community where immediate action is necessary to save human life or alleviate suffering, prevent widespread loss or damage to property or prevent extensive loss of animal life. The ADF has provided emergency Defence Assistance to the Civil Community to communities in Australia affected by floods and cyclones.
Examples of Defence Assistance to the Civil Community include support to State and local services in the event of natural disasters such as the Tasmanian Bushfires and floods in South Australia and New South Wales in 2016.
Defence Industry Development
Australia's defence industry plays a vital role in supporting Defence and delivering leading edge technologies and capabilities required to generate and sustain the future force.
The 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement fundamentally resets the Defence-industry relationship. A key initiative to foster the new Defence-industry partnership is the Centre for Defence Industry Capability. Funded to around $23.0 million per year, the Centre for Defence Industry Capability is a close collaboration between the private sector, Defence and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. The centre provides Australian small to medium sized companies with a range of services to maximise their competitiveness, build export potential, and facilitate access to the Defence Innovation Hub.
Through the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, the Australian Government is seeking to grow and develop an Australian industry that can support the effective and efficient delivery of Defence capability. To achieve this, the Centre has a network of business and skills advisors across Australia who work closely with the companies and guide the priorities for defence industry. The Centre for Defence Industry Capability was launched on 5 December 2016 and is headquartered in Adelaide. Services are provided across the country.
Defence Community Organisation
The Department of Defence is committed to building the capacity of local urban and regional communities to provide support services to Defence member families.
Defence, via the Defence Community Organisation, delivers community capacity building outcomes through:
- building strategic partnerships with service delivery organisations at local, state and national levels;
- a range of online and community based networking events, workshops, programs and services;
- working in collaboration with local agencies to develop initiatives to address gaps and limitations in community resources that Defence member families may require; and
- providing personalised advice and ongoing communication to Defence member families on available community resources and actively linking families to the resources they require.
The Defence Community Organisation has offices in the following locations:
- Brisbane, Townsville, Toowoomba and Cairns (Queensland);
- Sydney, Newcastle, Wagga Wagga, Nowra, Singleton and Albury (New South Wales);
- Canberra (Australian Capital Territory);
- Melbourne, East Sale, Cerberus and Puckapunyal (Victoria);
- Katherine and Darwin (Northern Territory);
- Rockingham (Western Australia);
- Adelaide (South Australia); and
- Hobart (Tasmania).
The Defence Community Organisation fosters community linkages through programs such as:
- ADF Transition Support Services (coordinated by the Defence Community Organisation) inform and encourage ADF families to access educational, financial, rehabilitation, compensation and other government services to facilitate sound transition planning. ADF Transition Support Services are delivered through 13 ADF Transition Centres nationally;
- the Defence Childcare Program provides 17 childcare centres and four out-of-school hours childcare centres nationally. Additionally, to minimise the impact of mobility on Defence children’s education, the Defence Community Organisation funds 229 schools to engage Defence School Transition Aides and Mentors; and
- funding community centres (25) nationally through grants and other funding support.
Defence Force Recruiting Support to Regional Australia
The Defence regional footprint includes a number of Defence Force Recruitment Centres in the following locations:
- Newcastle, Wollongong and Albury (New South Wales); and
- Cairns, Robina (Gold Coast), Maroochydore, Toowoomba and Townsville (Queensland).
These recruitment centres are in addition to the Defence Force Recruitment Centres established in Capital cities.
Defence has extensive engagement with Indigenous communities in remote, urban and regional Australia. In addition to direct entry into Defence employment, Defence offers a range of pathway programs for Indigenous Australians seeking a career in Defence as an ADF member or Australian Public Service (APS) employee:
- Under the Defence Indigenous Development Programs, Navy and Army aim to provide Indigenous Australians an opportunity to bridge the gap and complete employment training (recruit and initial). The programs provide Indigenous Australians from all regions an opportunity for a Defence career. Programs are conducted over a six month period in Cairns (Queensland), Batchelor (Northern Territory), Kapooka (New South Wales) and a fourth location yet to be determined.
- The Indigenous Pre-Recruit Program was piloted in 2016 and is aimed at Indigenous Australians who meet the current general entry recruiting standards for medical, education and aptitude, however need to develop their confidence and improve their physical fitness to enable them to succeed during recruit and initial employment training. The six week program is currently conducted at the Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka (New South Wales), with plans to expand to HMAS Cerberus (Victoria) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Wagga Wagga (New South Wales).
- APS Indigenous Traineeships and Apprenticeships offer Indigenous Australians entry level APS employment. The Department of Defence endeavours to employ Indigenous trainees and apprentices in their current location, or in close proximity, where Defence localities and operational requirements allow.
- The Clontarf and Stars Foundations support Indigenous secondary school students to successfully complete Year 12 and prepare for future employment. Clontarf and Stars Foundation participants undertake work experience at Defence establishments close to their home location, to provide an insight into careers within the Department of Defence.
- The Army has three Regional Force Surveillance Units (RFSU) across northern Australia. The RFSUs employ a large number of Indigenous soldiers, many of whom are employed from local communities on a part-time (Reserve) basis or through the Regional Force Surveillance List.
- The RFSU’s: North West Mobile Force (NORFORCE), the 51st Battalion, the Far North Queensland Regiment (51 FNQR) and the Pilbara Regiment are closely involved with local Indigenous communities and rely heavily on the commitment and knowledge of these regional communities in their Areas of Responsibility.
- NORFORCE patrols an area that covers 1.8 million square kilometres, nearly one quarter of Australia's land mass, and has squadrons based in Nhulunbuy, Darwin and Alice Springs (Northern Territory); and Broome (Western Australia). The Far North Queensland Regiment conducts reconnaissance and surveillance across 640,000 square kilometres from Cardwell north to the Torres Strait, inclusive of Cape York and the Gulf country (Queensland) and west to the Northern Territory border. This Regiment has a presence in Cairns, Weipa, Thursday Island and Mt Isa (Queensland).
- The Pilbara Regiment is responsible for an area of 1.3 million square kilometres from Port Hedland to Carnarvon in Western Australia, and from the coast to the border with the Northern Territory. It has elements located in Karratha, Port Hedland, Tom Price, Newman, Carnarvon, Exmouth and Karrakatta (Western Australia).
Defence has established or contributes to a number of other programs that engage with regional Indigenous communities:
- Army has established the Regional Indigenous Liaison Network that employs eight part time soldiers in each State or Territory assisting commanders to engage with local Indigenous communities throughout Australia.
- Since 1997, the Army has delivered a range of housing, infrastructure, essential services (power, water and sewerage) and other benefits to selected remote Indigenous communities through the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program (AACAP). The aim of the program is to improve the primary health, environmental health and living conditions of Aboriginal people. Over the past 20 years, AACAP has been delivered to 42 communities. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Army are undertaking a review of the program. The review will examine the objectives and outcomes of AACAP with a view to broadening the benefits of the program. The review is expected to finish in June 2017.
- The Jawun Program operates in nine regions around Australia, including urban, regional and remote Indigenous communities. The program adopts a partnership model across different sectors which emphasises working with Indigenous people, rather than simply providing services. The program matches individuals skill sets (within corporations and government) with the needs of an Indigenous community or organisation throughout Australia. Project work is allocated based on this need and is completed over a six week placement working with the Indigenous community or organisation. Defence has been a participant of Jawun since 2012. To date, approximately 60 Defence employees have participated across various locations.
These programs contribute to positive outcomes for Indigenous Australians, predominantly through adult employment. They are aimed at increasing enlistment and participation rates into the ADF and the Defence APS by assisting Indigenous applicants and candidates to transition into full and part-time employment. There is also a recognised benefit to both program participants and communities, when participants return to their community with the skills and knowledge to become leaders and role models.
Engaging People with Disability—Defence Administrative Assistance Program
Defence has built strong partnerships with Australian Disability Enterprises and Disability Employment Services Providers to support Defence disability employment programs. Defence offers a range of entry level employment programs for people with intellectual disability, aimed to enhance Defence capability and directly contributing to Defence’s cultural reform efforts.
- The Defence Administrative Assistance Program supports regional communities through partnerships with local Australian Disability Enterprises to provide people with intellectual disability the opportunity to engage in meaningful work. The Defence Administrative Assistance Program operates at the following sites: RAAF Base Amberley, Gallipoli Barracks Enoggera and Lavarack Barracks Townsville (Queensland); HMAS Stirling (Western Australia); Holsworthy Barracks (New South Wales); Victoria Barracks, Melbourne (Victoria); RAAF Base Edinburgh (South Australia); and Robertson Barracks, Darwin, (Northern Territory). Since 2016, 87 participants have been engaged under the Defence Administrative Assistance Program.
- The Inclusive Employment Program increases the participation of people with disability in the ongoing Defence Australian Public Service workforce. This program creates a pathway for people with intellectual disability to begin their work journey and build a career in Defence. Since 2014, 19 individuals have been recruited into the organisation on an ongoing basis.
Creating an inclusive workplace for people with disability is one of the six priority diversity areas identified in the Defence diversity and inclusion strategy 2012-2017. Defence seeks to remove barriers to, and encourage the participation of, people with disability in the Defence workforce. By increasing the representation of people with disability in Defence, and by building an organisation where diversity is respected and valued, Defence seeks to be an employer of choice for all Australians.
Defence Housing Australia
Defence Housing Australia (DHA) provides housing and related services to members of the ADF and their families in accordance with the Defence Housing Australia Act 1987 and service agreements with Defence.
DHA has 19 offices and four contact centres across Australia. The contact centres provide the first point-of-contact for housing and maintenance services, and the allocation of on–base Living-in Accommodation. Nine DHA offices are located in regional Australia, two of which are contact centres. DHA also has a presence on four regional ADF bases for Defence personnel only.
DHA manages approximately 18,500 properties worth $10.6 billion in all capital cities, major regional centres and some remote locations where the ADF has a presence. Approximately 30 per cent of these properties are located in regional and remote Australia.
DHA manages a multi-million dollar rolling capital program to meet its provisioning obligations to Defence and maintain the currency and quality of its property portfolio. DHA buys land, constructs properties and, as required, purchases and leases new and established properties. DHA also provides on-base regional and remote housing services to Defence.
DHA has four residential development projects in progress in regional Australia. These projects are located in Newcastle (NSW), Sale (VIC), Ipswich (QLD) and Townsville (QLD). The estimated value of the projects on completion is $452.2 million. Subject to receiving the necessary planning approvals, DHA will undertake a further eight residential development projects in regional Australia. Two of these projects are in Newcastle (NSW), two in Ipswich (QLD) and projects in Toowoomba (QLD), Hastings (VIC), Baldivis (WA) and Rockingham (WA). The estimated value of the projects on completion is $386.2 million.
DHA also manages a multi-million dollar Defence-funded upgrade, construction and redevelopment program. In 2017–18, DHA will manage six projects in regional Australia in Katherine (NT), Alice Springs (NT), Woonona (NSW), Port Wakefield (SA), East Sale (VIC) and Canungra (QLD) worth $12.2 million.
DHA actively engages suitably qualified local businesses and tradespeople through tender processes to undertake construction and maintenance work. In doing so, DHA contributes to and supports local economies and job creation.
United States Force Posture Initiatives
The Governments of Australia and the United States are implementing the 25 year Force Posture Agreement. The Agreement covers two initiatives, the Marine Rotational Force—Darwin and Enhanced Air Cooperation. The initiatives will have strategic benefits for the Australia-United States Alliance and bring economic benefits for northern Australia. The Agreement allows for up to 2,500 United States Marines rotating annually for six months and increasing air activities conducted out of Northern Australia.
Both the United States and Australian Governments have committed to a package of infrastructure and facilities works concentrated at Robertson Barracks, RAAF Base Darwin, RAAF Base Tindal and training areas across the Northern Territory. Subject to national and bilateral approvals, construction is expected to start in 2018–19 and continue through to the mid 2020s. The United States and Australian Governments will fund required works separately. The Defence Integrated Investment Plan carries a $2.5 billion provision to fund capital works under the Agreement, though the full costs of the 25 year Agreement will be informed by the nature and scope of activities undertaken during annual rotations.
Environmental Management Policies
Defence environmental management policies support regional communities through:
- promoting sustainable environmental management at Defence facilities; and
- contributing to relevant regional environmental initiatives.
The recently released 2016-2036 Defence Environmental Strategy continues to support the Defence environmental vision to be a leader in sustainable environmental management. The environment and its ongoing sustainable management is a critical enabler to ADF capability.
Defence has engaged the Australian Wildlife Conservancy in a trial to improve the biodiversity of the Yampi Sound Training Area in the West Kimberley through managing pests, weeds, bushfire and threatened species. Yampi Sound possesses outstanding conservation values as well as large and varied training environments for the ADF. The contract facilitates cooperation with the Dambimangari traditional owners, including providing employment. This investment by Defence benefits the broader Australian community through supporting national biodiversity targets as well as benefiting the local community through increased economic activity.
Defence has commenced a program to integrate its bushfire management activities more closely with States and Territories. Defence invests $14.0 million in bushfire mitigation works including fuel reduction works to protect communities and the environment across Australia. In 2016, Defence developed a draft Memorandum of Understanding with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service that details how the agencies interact in mitigating and responding to bushfire emergencies. This includes mechanisms for the provision of airfield and other support services to the Rural Fire Service during a bushfire.
Defence Base Service Contracts
Defence has a number of base service contracts that support the management of the Defence estate and the daily activities of Defence bases across Australia. Where services are delivered to bases located in regional and remote areas, the base services contractors generally draw their workforce from local employment areas as well as accessing local business suppliers. The services provided include estate maintenance, hospitality and catering, range and training area support, living accommodation, transport, cleaning and housekeeping, access control, waste management services, land management, pest and vermin management, retail stores, fire fighting, airfield operations and aircraft refuelling.
The base services contractors are required to demonstrate a commitment to Indigenous employment, including the use of Indigenous business suppliers. Base services contractors must have a current Indigenous Training, Employment and Supplier Plan.
Defence Infrastructure / Estate Projects
The Australian Government is investing approximately $8.0 billion over four years from 2017–18 in facilities and infrastructure projects. Defence facilities and infrastructure investment are funded by the Defence Integrated Investment Program via Defence’s existing annual appropriation. Major Capital Facilities projects in regional locations include the following:
- LAND 155 Enhanced Gap Crossing Capability
- JP500 Phase 2A—Electronic Warfare Operational Support
- Land 17 Phase 1B/C—Artillery Replacement Project
- Delamere Air Weapons Range Redevelopment
- Woomera Range Safety and Control System Remediation
- Cultana Training Area Infrastructure and Facilities
- C-17 Maintenance Facility, Aircraft Apron and Associated Infrastructure
- AIR 5428 Phase 1—Pilot Training System Facilities Project
- AIR 7000 Maritime Patrol Aircraft Phase 2B
- Garden Island (East) Critical Infrastructure Recovery Project (CIRP)—Stage One
- RAAF Base Williamtown Redevelopment Stage 2
- Air Traffic Control Complex Infrastructure Project and AIR5431 Phases 2 and 3 Fixed Base Defence Air Traffic Management and Control System
- AIR 5349 Phase 3 Growler Airborne Electronic Attack Capability Facilities Project
- AIR 6000 New Air Combat Capability
LAND 155 Enhanced Gap Crossing Capability
This $23.4 million project will provide new warehousing, storage, hardstand, maintenance and training facilities to support the introduction of enhanced gap crossing capability at Holsworthy Military Area (New South Wales), Joint Logistics Unit (South Queensland), Joint Logistics Unit (North Queensland) and Joint Logistics Unit North (Northern Territory). Subject to Parliamentary approval, construction is planned to commence in early 2017 and be completed by late 2017.
JP500 Phase 2A—Electronic Warfare Operational Support
This project will provide facilities and infrastructure to support electronic warfare capability at Edinburgh, South Australia. Parliamentary approval was received in February 2017. The project has an approved budget of $24.9 million over two years from 2016–17. Construction is planned to commence in mid 2017 and be complete by mid 2018.
Land 17 Phase 1B/C—Artillery Replacement Project—Additional Towed Guns
This project will provide working accommodation, storage, maintenance and training facilities in support of the Lightweight Towed Howitzer ancillary equipment and simulation systems at multiple Defence sites across Australia. The project received Parliamentary approval in February 2017, and will construct facilities at eight Defence establishments, including Puckapunyal, Port Wakefield, Williamtown and Darwin. The project has an approved budget of $57.1 million. Construction is planned to commence in mid 2017 and be complete by mid 2018.
Delamere Air Weapons Range Redevelopment
The Australian Government is investing $74.4 million over three years from 2016–17 to redevelop key range facilities and infrastructure to enable the continued use of the Delamere Air Weapons Range (Northern Territory) including the new Growler Mobile Threat Training Emitter Systems capability. Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2018.
Woomera Range Safety and Control System Remediation
This project will provide facilities and infrastructure to support the systems developed for the Woomera Test Range. Parliamentary approval was received in February 2017. The project has an approved budget of $48.6 million over two years from 2017–18. Construction is planned to commence in mid 2017 and be complete by late 2018.
Cultana Training Area Infrastructure and Facilities
This project will provide facilities and infrastructure for the Cultana Training Area, South Australia. The project has an approved budget of $71.0 million. Construction is planned to commence early 2017 and be completed by late 2018.
C-17 Maintenance Facility, Aircraft Apron and Associated Infrastructure
This project will provide a maintenance facility, additional working accommodation, aircraft apron and associated infrastructure to support C-17 operations at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland. The project has an approved budget of $219.4 million over four years from 2016–17. Construction commenced in late 2016 and is scheduled to be completed by 2019.
AIR 5428 Phase 1—Pilot Training System Facilities Project
This project will provide fit-for-purpose facilities to support the modern joint training system being delivered by the AIR5428-1 Capability Project. The project has an approved budget of $329.8 million over four years from 2016–17. Construction commenced in August 2016 and is scheduled for completion in 2020.
AIR 7000 Maritime Patrol Aircraft Phase 2B
The Australian Government is investing $707.9 million over five years from 2016–17 to provide new and upgraded facilities and infrastructure to support the introduction of the P-8A aircraft at RAAF Base Edinburgh, RAAF Base Townsville, RAAF Base Pearce and RAAF Base Darwin. Construction commenced in mid-2016 and is scheduled for completion by late 2020.
Garden Island (East) Critical Infrastructure Recovery Project—Stage One
This $213.4 million project will address critical structural, condition and engineering services risks on the Cruiser Wharf at Garden Island (East), Sydney. Subject to Parliamentary approval, construction is scheduled to commence in mid 2017 and be completed by late 2020.
RAAF Base Williamtown Redevelopment Stage 2
The Australian Government is investing $274.0 million over six years from 2016–17 to sustain and improve the functionality and capability of RAAF Base Williamtown (New South Wales), including upgrades or replacement of critical ageing infrastructure to meet future requirements. Construction is scheduled to be completed by mid 2021.
Air Traffic Control Complex Infrastructure Project and AIR5431 Phases 2 and 3 Fixed Base Defence Air Traffic Management and Control System
The Australian Government is investing $409.9 million over six years from 2016–17 to provide facilities in support of replacement Air Traffic Management Surveillance, Command and Control Systems under AIR5431 Phases 2 and 3, including the replacement of aged and degraded Air Traffic Control Towers. Construction is planned to be completed by late 2021.
AIR 5349 Phase 3 Growler Airborne Electronic Attack Capability Facilities Project
The Australian Government is investing $348.6 million over six years from 2015–16 to provide working accommodation, maintenance, warehousing and training facilities at RAAF Base Amberley, Army Aviation Centre Oakey (Queensland) and Delamere Air Weapons Range (Northern Territory) to support the introduction of the Growler Airborne Electronic Attack Capability. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2021.
AIR 6000 New Air Combat Capability
The Australian Government is investing $1.5 billion over eight years from 2015–16 to provide new and upgraded facilities and infrastructure to support the introduction of the Joint Strike Fighter at RAAF Bases Williamtown (New South Wales) and Tindal (Northern Territory). Support facilities and infrastructure will be provided at Defence Establishment Myambat (New South Wales) and at seven forward operating bases throughout Australia. Construction commenced in early 2015 and is scheduled for completion by late 2022.