The Department of Defence (Defence) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) have a significant footprint in regional Australia, with an extensive network of bases and associated employment and community engagement activities.  Of the total Defence workforce (forecast 2019-20 Budget Estimate of 76,361 average full-time workforce and 20,450 headcount of Reservists), approximately:

  • 39 per cent are located in Canberra, central Sydney and central Melbourne;
  • 34 per cent are located in other capital cities;
  • 26 per cent are located in other regional areas; and
  • 1 per cent are located overseas.

As at 31 December 2018, the Defence portfolio employed 17,409 staff under the Public Service Act 1999. Of this total, 9,119 staff (52 per cent) are employed in Canberra, central Melbourne and central Sydney, 5,601 staff (32 per cent) in other capital cities and 2,558 staff (15 per cent) in regional areas.

Defence both employs and serves the local people in our regions.  Defence members and their families are an integral part of regional communities, interacting on official duties and community activities and events.  This includes contributing to the spending and services in regional economies.  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.

Defence also maintains strong links with regional Australia through Reserve units and individuals.  Many of Army’s Reserve units are headquartered in regional centres with staff and soldiers based in surrounding districts (Army has approximately 15,500 reservists).

The Defence estate consists of 400 properties and approximately 360 leases including bases (72 major bases), training areas and ranges, research facilities and office accommodation including Defence Force Recruitment Centres.  The construction and presence of Defence facilities in regional areas provides considerable economic, social and environmental support to regional communities.  Figure 1 depicts the Defence footprint across Australia.

Figure 1: Location of major Defence facilities across Australia

Title: Figure 1 Location of major Defence facilities across Australia—Description: Estate and Infrastructure Group Zones with map of Australia.

Other Defence support provided to regional, rural and remote Australians includes:

  • the economic activity stimulated through Defence exercises and major training activities, including joint exercises and collective training with our overseas allies and partners in Australia;
  • Defence Assistance to the Civil Community, where Defence provides both emergency support (e.g. for natural disasters) and non-emergency support (e.g. for Public Events of Significance) across Australia;
  • Defence Community Organisation activities to build the capacity of local, urban and regional communities in support of Defence member families;
  • Defence engagement with regional indigenous communities, predominantly through employment;
  • Defence Youth Programs conducted across Australia as an essential element of nation building;
  • engaging people with disabilities to support regional communities to provide people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity for meaningful work;
  • Defence industry development, with activities undertaken across Australia to support the vital role that the Australian defence industry plays in delivering leading edge technologies and capabilities required to generate and sustain the future force;
  • the economic activity associated with Defence capability and estate projects undertaken in the regions;
  • Defence environmental management and cooperation on heritage issues in regional Australia; and
  • Defence Housing Australia activities to provide housing and related services to members of the ADF located in regional areas.

Current Initiatives

Exercises and Major Training Activities

The bulk of Defence training activities and major field exercises are conducted in regional areas with positive flow-on effects to local economies. Many Defence capabilities require the vast spaces which regional Australia can accommodate.

Army provides land forces which exercise frequently in regional areas including Puckapunyal (Vic), the Hunter (NSW), Shoalwater Bay (Qld), Townsville (Qld), Mount Bundy (NT) and Cultana (SA). This includes foundation Army training and increasingly joint exercises and collective training with our overseas allies and partners.

Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative 

The Joint Agreement on a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Australia and Singapore announced that the two governments would jointly develop training areas and facilities in Australia, through the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative (‘the Initiative’). The Initiative will see the delivery of advanced military training areas in Central and North Queensland.  At maturity, up to 14,000 Singapore Armed Forces personnel will undertake unilateral training for up to 18 weeks annually.

The development and operation of advanced military training areas at Shoalwater Bay, Central Queensland and near Greenvale, North Queensland will benefit the Australian Defence Force, provide significant local economic opportunities, and enhance Australia’s bilateral defence relationship with Singapore.

The Singapore Government will provide $2.25 billion to implement the initiative, which will result in an estimated $50.0 million spent in Queensland annually during the construction phase. Construction is on track to commence in the third quarter of 2019 in Central and North Queensland

United States Force Posture Initiatives

The governments of Australia and the United States are implementing the 25 year Force Posture Agreement, which provides a framework for how the two nations will collaborate on force posture initiatives. The Agreement covers two initiatives which will provide strategic benefits for the Australia-United States Alliance and economic benefits for Northern Australia:

  • Marine Rotational Force—Darwin: this initiative consists of annual rotations of United States Marines and accompanying equipment and vehicles through Northern Australia; and
  • Enhanced Air Cooperation: this initiative consists of increased training activities and exercises with US air elements, including short-term rotations of United States aircraft through Northern Australia.

Approximately $2.0 billion is being invested to expand and upgrade Defence infrastructure and facilities in 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. Construction commenced in late 2018 and is expected to continue through to the mid‑2020s. The United States and Australian Governments will fund required works separately.

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 Australian Defence Force.

Emergency Defence Assistance to the Civil Community provides support 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. Examples of recent Defence Assistance to the Civil Community include support to state and local services for natural disasters such as Tropical Cyclone Marcus in 2018 (causing significant damage in and around Darwin), bushfires in the Hunter Valley region in 2018, and the North Queensland flood crisis in 2019.

Non-Emergency Defence Assistance to the Civil Community is provided to both government and non-government entities where there are no alternatives for support.  Defence regularly provides non-emergency assistance to Public Events of Significance across Australia, such as to Australia Day celebrations, official government events, major sporting events and various air shows.  Defence also supports civil law enforcement authorities in circumstances where there is no likelihood Defence personnel will be required to use force.  Examples include disposal of dangerous materials, non-emergency disposal of explosive materials, and training support to emergency services.

Defence Community Organisation

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 budget in 2019-20 is $35.6m with offices in the following locations:

  • Brisbane, Townsville, Amberley, Darling Downs and Cairns (QLD);
  • Sydney, Williamtown, Holsworthy,  Wagga Wagga, Nowra, Richmond, Singleton and Albury (NSW);
  • Canberra (ACT);
  • Melbourne, East Sale, Cerberus and Puckapunyal (VIC);
  • Darwin and Tindal (NT);
  • Rockingham, Leeuwin Barracks and Pearce (WA);
  • Adelaide (SA); and
  • Hobart (TAS)

In addition, the Defence Community Organisation operates its 24/7 Defence Family Helpline staffed by human services professionals (including social workers and psychologists) which provides information, support, crisis intervention services and referrals where appropriate. The Helpline also has skype facilities.

The Defence Community Organisation fosters community linkages through programs such as:

  • Australian Defence Force (ADF) Transition Support Services (coordinated by the Defence Community Organisation)—work with ADF members and their families transitioning from the ADF and provide information on 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.
  • Defence Childcare Program—provides 16 childcare centres and two out‑of­school hours’ childcare centres nationally.
  • Defence School Mentor Program—minimises the impact of mobility on Defence children’s education. The Defence Community Organisation supports 234 schools and over 13,000 Defence children nationally.
  • Partner Employment Assistance Program—Defence provides funding to partners of ADF members who are relocating due to posting or transitioning medically. ADF partners use this funding to access professional employment service providers across the country.
  • Community Support Coordinator Program—supports 28 paid Defence Community Centre Coordinators nationally.
  • Family Support Funding Program—supports 52 incorporated not-for-profit community based organisations across Australia.

Defence Indigenous Engagement

Indigenous Recruitment

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 Australian Defence Force (ADF) member or Australian Public Service (APS) employee.

Navy and Army Indigenous Development Programs—these programs focus on language, literacy, and numeracy training; military skills; physical fitness; vocational education and training; cultural appreciation; leadership and character development. These programs provide opportunities for Indigenous Australians from regions across Australia to have a career within Defence.  Programs are conducted over a six month period in Cairns (QLD), Batchelor (NT) and Kapooka (NSW).

Air Force Indigenous Recruitment Pathways. Air Force has implemented a range of flexible recruitment pathways including education and mentoring programs. Education options include TAFE courses, tertiary bridging initiatives and under graduate study programs.

The Indigenous Pre Recruit Program—this program is aimed at Indigenous Australians who meet the current general entry recruiting standards for medical, education and aptitude. The focus is to develop their confidence, resilience and/or improve their physical fitness to enable them to succeed during recruitment and initial employment training. In 2018, the six week program was conducted at the Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka (NSW), Her Majesty’s Australian Ship Cerberus (VIC) and Royal Australian Air Force Base Wagga Wagga (NSW). Indigenous Australians from all over Australia can participate.  In 2019, it is expected the program will be conducted in the same locations as 2018.

Air Force Indigenous Reserves—The Woomera Test Range Compliance Monitoring Team in South Australia is composed of six Indigenous Air Force Reserve Members, recruited from the local Indigenous communities. The Team provides a range of functions including surveillance and community engagement. In order to recruit more members of local Indigenous communities to work with Air Force in location, Air Force will look to use this approach in the future for the other Air Weapons Ranges across Australia.

Specialist Recruiting Team—Indigenous—Defence Force Recruiting has 19 ADF members in a Specialist Recruiting Team—Indigenous.  This team mentor Indigenous candidates and engage with Indigenous community leaders and members in order to promote the ADF as an attractive employer for Indigenous candidates. Members of the Specialist Recruiting Team—Indigenous are located in most capital cities as well as Townsville, Cairns, Newcastle and Wollongong.

Australian Public Service Indigenous Traineeships and Apprenticeships—offer Indigenous Australians entry-level APS employment. Defence endeavours to employ Indigenous trainees and apprentices in their current location, or in close proximity, where Defence localities and operational requirements allow.

Science and Technology Entry and Work Experience Pathways - A number of entry‑level recruitment and work experience opportunities are offered to Indigenous Australians seeking science and technology careers with Defence Science and Technology. These include apprenticeships, cadetships, student placements and post-graduate internships in locations across Australia.

Engagement with Indigenous Communities

Defence has extensive engagement with Indigenous communities in remote, urban and regional Australia:

  • The Navy, Army and Air Force have established and filled Regional Indigenous Liaison Officer roles in each State or Territory assisting commanders to better understand and engage with local Indigenous communities.  Air Force has a comprehensive Indigenous Liaison Officer network including a Senior Indigenous Liaison Officer and 12 Indigenous Liaison Officers to ensure every Air Force facility is supported.
  • Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program (AACAP)—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 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 2019 AACAP Project is to be delivered in Jigalong in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The 2020 AACAP Project will be in Pormpuraaw in Far North Queensland.
  • Army’s Regional Force Surveillance Group (responsible for the provision of ‘situational awareness and understanding on prescribed threats to Australia’s national interest through the conduct of remote area, land and littoral, reconnaissance and surveillance operations; community engagement; and support to whole-of-government initiatives’)—contributes positively to Indigenous Engagement & Development in the North and North West of Australia via:
    • the provision of meaningful employment opportunities within the Regional Force Surveillance Units, enabling Indigenous Australians to contribute to the protection of the nation and their traditional lands;
    • access to ongoing training, education and development to support career opportunities and personal growth both within Army and the community (for part-time members);
    • Community Engagement and liaison in support of Defence, Army and whole-of-government initiatives.
  • In 2018, under Exercise Kummundoo, Air Force’s Combat Support Group provided dental specialists to serve for several weeks within remote communities in order to provide dental services. The Exercise is a collaboration between Air Force and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. The program will be run again in 2019.
  • The Jawun Program operates in nine regions around Australia, including urban, regional and remote Indigenous communities. This program adopts a partnership model across different sectors and 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, 75 Defence employees have participated across various locations.
  • The Defence Work Experience Program hosted 368 Indigenous Australians in Defence work experience activities in 2018 across Australia, with the majority in Western Australia, Northern Territory and North Queensland. Defence will continue to offer such opportunities this year, including the Air Force Indigenous Youth Program being conducted at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Williamtown, and RAAF Base Richmond (NSW), for up to 30 secondary school students.  Army’s Exercise First Look will also offer up to 60 placements at ADFA, RMC and the Army Logistic Training Centre. Other activities include an Indigenous-specific program in Townsville, Queensland, and continuing activities with students linked to Indigenous organisations such as the Clontarf Foundation and the Girls Academy.
  • Air Force has introduced a Return to Community initiative to encourage and support Indigenous members to return to their Community for a period of time to:
      • use the skills and experience gained in Air Force to contribute to Community development; or
      • attend significant cultural activities.

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 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.

Supporting Indigenous Procurement Opportunities

Defence is committed to stimulating Indigenous economic development, including through procurement opportunities in regional and rural Australia to support and grow the Indigenous business sector.

Since the introduction of the Commonwealth Indigenous Procurement Policy, Defence has consistently exceeded annual Portfolio targets set by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.  In 2017-18, Defence awarded $485.2 million in contracts to Indigenous suppliers (612 contracts), with approximately $70 million identified as contracts in remote areas. In 2018-19 (as at 4 Feb 19), Defence had awarded $199.8 million in new contracts (337 contracts).

The Defence Indigenous Procurement Strategy released in late 2018 provides a pathway for Defence to deliver Indigenous procurement outcomes. A strong and self-supporting Indigenous business sector is key to empowering Indigenous Australians, including regional Indigenous communities.

Defence Youth Programs—Engaging with Young People under the age of 18

Defence recognises that the participation of young people in Australian society is an essential element of nation building and that the development of young people across Australia is crucial to the nation’s future economic and social prosperity.

Defence conducts youth engagement and development activities which:

  • assist young people to meet and address the complex challenges associated with their wellbeing, education, employment and participation in an increasingly connected world;
  • contribute to national endeavours and achievements in the field of youth development and nation building;
  • promote understanding of, and interest in, the role of Defence;
  • promote Defence-related employment pathways; and
  • support Defence members and their families.

Indicative funding in 2019-20, in support of Defence youth programs include:

  • $0.04 million: ADF Cadets Enterprise Support;
  • $0.60 million: Defence Work Experience Program; and
  • $1.90 million: ADF Long Tan Awards.

ADF Cadets. The ADF Cadets is the collective title for the three community-based cadet organisations: the Australian Navy Cadets (ANC), the Australian Army Cadets (AAC), and the Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC). These youth development programs provide a strong focus on Defence customs, traditions and values. There are approximately 545 ADF Cadets units Australia-wide with approximately 26,000 cadets.  These cadets are supported by 3,200 adult volunteers who perform roles as officers, instructors and ‘approved helpers’ to support and supervise these young people. ADF Cadets have a significant regional presence, with cadet programs being undertaken in locations spanning from Norfolk Island to Broome, and from Weipa to Hobart. The ADF Cadets program is a partnership between the Services and communities.  The program contributes to the development of youth in rural and remote locations with strategies for engaging with regional, remote and indigenous communities.

Defence Work Experience Program. The Defence Work Experience Program (DWEP) provides young people with an interest in a Defence career the opportunity to gain exposure to a range of job roles available within the Australian Defence Force and Australian Public Service. Defence Work Experience activities are designed to be hands on and interactive so that young people can make informed career decisions. In addition to the 368 Indigenous youth placements, there were 1,616 placements conducted at Defence units Australia-wide for a total of 1,984 placements in 2018.

ADF Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Awards. The Battle of Long Tan holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Australians. The ADF Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Awards commenced in 2006 to recognise students who demonstrate leadership and teamwork within both the school and the broader local community. At the same time, they recognise those who display strong values, such as doing one’s best, respect for others and “mateship”, characteristics integral to Australian society. In 2018, there were approximately 4,300 award recipients across Australia with 2,345 schools participating in the program.

Engaging People with Disability—Defence Administrative Assistance Program

Defence has built strong partnerships with Australian Disability Enterprises to provide administrative support services at Defence facilities across Australia.

TheDefence Administrative Assistance Program supports regional communities to provide people with intellectual disability the opportunity to contribute to Defence capability through meaningful work outcomes. The funding for the Defence Administrative Assistance Program in 2019-20 is approximately $2.5m.

Since 2016, 136 participants, including support staff have been engaged under the Program, which operates at: RAAF  Amberley, Gallipoli Barracks Enoggera, Lavarack Barracks and RAAF Townsville (QLD); HMAS Stirling (WA); Holsworthy Barracks (NSW); Victoria Barracks, Melbourne (VIC); RAAF Base Edinburgh (SA); and Robertson Barracks, Darwin, (NT).

Defence seeks to be an employer of choice for all Australians through the creation of an inclusive workplace for people with disability. By increasing the representation of people with disability and encouraging a greater level of participation in Defence we are committed to building an organisation where diversity is respected and valued.

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. Established in 2016, the Centre for Defence Industry Capability provides advisory and facilitation services and grants to eligible small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Australia, including in regional Australia, to assist them to be better positioned to support Defence.

The Australian Government’s Defence Export Strategy, released in January 2018, provides a framework to assist Australian defence industry to achieve greater export success to build a stronger, more sustainable and more globally competitive Australian defence industry, in support of Defence’s capability needs. Through the Strategy, more resources have been committed to support export efforts, with an additional $20.0 million in annual funding provided from 2018‑19.

The Defence Industry Skilling and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Strategy, released on 28 February 2019, outlines how the Government will support Australian defence industry’s efforts to develop a robust and resilient workforce to meet Defence Technology needs. The strategy provides $32 million in funding, starting from 2019-20 to 2021-22, into new and existing initiatives.

Key announcements in the Strategy for 2019-20 include:

  • $4 million to establish a new model of skilling support grants to assist defence industry SMEs to upskill or retrain their people in trade, technical and professional skill sets;
  • $2.6 million to continue the Schools Pathways Program to encourage student engagement in STEM and introduce them to defence industry career pathways;
  • $1.4 million to continue and expand the Defence Industry Internship Program from 30 internships to 50 in 2019-20 providing engineering students with direct connections to the sector by facilitating 12 week internships with defence industry SMEs.

With a budget of $730 million over ten years, the Next Generation Technologies Fund draws together the research capabilities of Defence Science and Technology in partnership with Australian industry and academia, to solve Defence’s key science and technology challenges.

To date, this Fund has generated approximately 140 research activities with industry, universities and publicly‑funded research agencies across Australia and overseas.

Under the Next Generation Technologies Fund, Defence will invest $10 million across the life of the program to support small and medium enterprises to explore their technical potential through the Small Business Innovation Research for Defence (SBIRD) initiative. Alongside the $19 million Grand Challenge to counter improvised threats, the SBIRD initiative has brought 14 companies to partnerships supported by the Next Generation Technologies Fund.

The Australian Industry Capability (AIC) Program is the major lever for Australian industry involvement in supporting defence capability and applies to every materiel procurement of $20 million and above. The AIC Program has been strengthened with tenderers now required to more explicitly demonstrate how they have maximised consideration of Australian industry as part of their proposed capability solution and what value add work is proposed to be undertaken in Australia.

Defence is piloting a new requirement for a Local Industry Capability Plan on six major capital facilities projects. Under the pilot, tenderers for major capital facilities projects must develop a local industry capability plan that outlines how local industry will be engaged under the proposed tender including how the proposed work will be undertaken by local industry. The results of this pilot will inform the development of a Defence Policy for Industry Participation, which will be released in the first half of 2019. The policy will provide a more consistent approach to maximising Australian and local industry involvement in Defence procurement of $4 million and above.

The Defence Innovation Hub was launched on 5 December 2016 as part of the Government’s $1.6 billion investment in growing the capability and capacity of Australia’s defence industry and innovation sector. Funded at $640.0 million to 2025-26, the Defence Innovation Hub manages a portfolio of Defence innovation investments. It brings together Defence, industry, academia and research institutions from across Australia to collaborate on innovative technologies that can be developed into advanced capability for Defence.

The Defence Innovation Hub has awarded eight innovation contracts totalling over $10.7 million with organisations based in regional Australia. The following table details the innovation contracts entered into since the Defence Innovation Hub’s launch in December 2016:

Organisation & LocationContract DescriptionContract Value*
University of Newcastle (Newcastle, New South Wales) Develop enhanced resilience training for Australian Defence Force personnel through a set of virtual reality based training sessions involving controlled exposure to adverse environments. $2,200,000
Armor Composite Engineering (Engadine, New South Wales) Develop a new body armour capability, which could be used by the Australian Defence Force. $655,000
Trang Imagineering (Orange, New South Wales) Explore development of 3D sensors that have been used in the mining industry for potential use by the Australian Defence Force for threat monitoring in conflict zones. $218,000
Unmanned Aerial Systems (Green Point, New South Wales) Demonstrate a new, useful aircraft platform capable of both fixed and rotary wing high speed flight combined with both hover and cruise efficiency. $293,000
Codarra Advanced Systems
(Queanbeyan, New South Wales)
Further develop the Hielamon system to provide detection and counter-measures for a range of commercial drones. $1,596,000
Deakin University (Waurn Ponds, Victoria) Explore the feasibility of developing a functioning hot fire training system using haptic (touch) force feedback, high fidelity visuals, and realistic heat experience to improve firefighting training for Navy. $2,200,000
Teledyne Defence Australia (Eight Mile Plains, Queensland) Develop a vehicle-mounted Improvised Explosive Device detection and clearance capability that uses an advanced radar system that could be integrated with existing ADF deployable vehicles. $3,400,000
Griffith University (Nathan, Queensland) Explore development of a portable device that enables real-time detection of airborne biological threats, such as fungi spores, viruses and bacteria. $183,000

* Contract values are GST inclusive.

Defence Joint Capability Group Projects

Defence Fuel Transformation Program (Joint Project FSR13)

The Defence Fuel Transformation Program (DFTP) will transform the Defence Fuel Supply Chain (DFSC) by lowering enterprise risk in the Defence Fuel Network and increasing the DFSC’s resilience and ability to consistently meet Service fuel requirements. 

The DFTP Tranche 1 commenced in 2018-19, and will be delivered over a three-year period. The first phase of the project will focus on increasing the safety and compliance of the Defence Fuel Network, as well as seizing immediate opportunities to improve resilience through greater collaboration with industry and strategic infrastructure upgrades.  Of the $127.0 million approved in the first three years of the Program, approximately half will be spent on infrastructure upgrades and improving fuel asset condition at the majority of Defence sites across Australia.   Subject to Government approval, a further $531.4 million will be spent during Tranche 2 of the project, commencing in 2021-22.

Satellite Ground Station—East and the Network Management System (Joint Project 2008 Phase 5B2)

This $234.0 million project was the final phase of the Satellite Communications (SATCOM) project to be approved by Government in early 2017.  The project will deliver a satellite ground station in Eastern Australia and implement a network management system for planning and conduct of satellite communications operations across all ADF satellite communications systems.

The satellite ground station to be based at Kapooka, NSW will benefit the region by utilising local suppliers mainly during the construction stage of the project. The overall project is scheduled for completion in 2022.

Defence Infrastructure/ Estate Projects

The Australian Government is investing approximately $10.5 billion over four years from 2019-20 in facilities and infrastructure projects. Defence facilities and infrastructure investment are funded by the Defence Integrated Investment Program via Defence’s existing annual appropriation. Approved regional Major Capital Facilities projects include the following:

New Air Combat Capability Facilities Project (AIR 6000 Phase 2A/B NACC) (various locations)

This $1.5 billion project will provide new and upgraded facilities and infrastructure to support the introduction of the Joint Strike Fighter at RAAF Base Williamtown Newcastle, NSW, and RAAF Base Tindal, Katherine, NT with support facilities and infrastructure provided at Defence Establishment Myambat, NSW and three Forward Operating Bases.

There is $105.3 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by mid-2020.

Maritime Patrol Aircraft Replacement (AIR 7000 Phase 2B) (various locations)

This $707.9 million project will provide new and upgraded facilities and infrastructure to support the introduction of the P-8A aircraft at RAAF Base Edinburgh, South Australia, RAAF Base Townsville, Queensland, RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia and RAAF Base Darwin, Northern Territory as well as additional explosive ordnance facilities at HMAS Stirling.

There is $181.2 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by early 2020.

Larrakeyah Defence Precinct Redevelopment Program (Northern Territory)

This $495.5 million program of works will upgrade critical base infrastructure, improve the working environment for Defence personnel including new facilities for North West Mobile Force (NORFORCE), and support future growth on Larrakeyah Defence Precinct. This project will also deliver a new wharf, fuel storage and refuelling capabilities to support Navy’s major surface combatant ships operating in the north of Australia.

There is $81.2 million programmed for expenditure at Larrakeyah Barracks in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by late 2022.

HMAS Cerberus Redevelopment (Victoria)

This $465.6 million project will provide engineering services upgrade, consolidation of Living in Accommodation and Mess Facilities, co-location of Clothing Store with Naval Store, School of Survivability and Ship Safety upgrade, Gym upgrade, Armoury, Explosive Ordnance (EO) and Weapons Storage Facility upgrade, and demolition.

There is $141.0 million programmed for expenditure at HMAS Cerberus in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by mid-2025.

Air Traffic Control Complex Infrastructure Project and Fixed Base Defence Air Traffic Management Control System (AIR 5431 Phases 2 and 3) (various locations)

This $409.9 million project will provide facilities across 13 bases in support of replacement Air Traffic Management Surveillance, Command and Control Systems under AIR 5431 Phases 2 and 3, incorporating the replacement of aged and degraded Air Traffic Control Towers.

There is $44.7 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by late 2021.

Battlefield Airlifter Facilities (AIR 8000 Phase 2) (Queensland)

This $370.4 million project will provide facilities at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland to accommodate and support the operation of the new C-27J Battlefield Airlifter aircraft.

There is $17.9 million programmed for expenditure at RAAF Amberley in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by mid-2019.

HMAS Stirling Redevelopment Stage 3A (Western Australia)

This $366.8 million project will provide upgrades and refurbishment of existing critical shortfalls to infrastructure and facilities.

There is $100.8 million programmed for expenditure at HMAS Stirling in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by early 2020.

Growler Airborne Electronic Attack Capability Facilities (AIR 5349 Phase 3) (Queensland)

This $388.6 million project will provide the necessary working accommodation, maintenance, warehousing and training facilities at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland to support the introduction of the Growler Airborne Electronic Attack Capability.

There is $39.8 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by mid-2020.

Pilot Training System Facilities (AIR 5428 Phase 1) (various locations)

The $329.8 million project will provide fit-for-purpose facilities to support the modern joint training system being delivered by AIR5428-1 Capability Project, with the facilities planned to be delivered at RAAF Base East Sale (VIC), RAAF Base Pearce and Gingin (WA), RAAF Base Williamtown (NSW), and RAAF Base Edinburgh (SA).

There is $16.8 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion in late 2020.

LAND 121 Stage 2A (various locations)

This $276.5 million project will provide facilities across nine bases to sustain the B-vehicle fleet in accordance with the Basis of Issue for Army, RAAF and Joint Logistics Command. These facilities will maintain (workshops and repair parts storage), support (fuel points, loading ramps, wash points and weight bridges) and sustain (shelters and handstand) the vehicles from vehicles acquisition Phase 3A (G‑Wagon), Phase 3B (Light/Light Weight and Medium/Heavy) and Phase 4 (Protected Mobility Vehicles Light).

There is $12.7 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

 The project is scheduled for completion by early 2020.

RAAF Base Williamtown Redevelopment Stage 2 (New South Wales)

This $274.0 million project will sustain and improve the functionality and capability of RAAF Base Williamtown (NSW), including upgrades or replacement of critical ageing infrastructure to meet future requirements.

There is $58.0 million programmed for expenditure at RAAF Base Williamtown in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by late 2021.

Maritime Operational Support Capability Facilities (SEA 1654 Phase 3) (various locations)

This $220.5 million project will provide new and upgraded facilities and infrastructure to support the introduction of a single class of Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessels, being provided under SEA 1654 Phase 3 Maritime Operational Support Capability Project.

There is $120.7 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

This project is scheduled for completion by late 2020.

Explosive Ordnance Logistics Reform Program (various locations)

This $230.9 million project will address explosive ordnance storage capacity shortfalls through delivery of new and enhanced explosive ordnance facilities at 12 Defence sites.

There is $97.7 million programmed for expenditure all across sites in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by late 2020.

C-17 Maintenance Facility, Aircraft Apron and Associated Infrastructure (AIR 8000 Phase 3) (Queensland)

This $219.4 million project will provide a maintenance facility, working accommodation, an aircraft apron and associated facilities at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland.

There is $36.9 million programmed for expenditure at RAAF Amberley in 2019-20.

This project is scheduled for completion by late 2019.

Joint Health Command Garrison Health Facilities Upgrades (various locations)

This $212.5 million project will provide fit for purpose, contemporary Garrison Health Facilities at 13 sites across Australia.

There is $131.8 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by late 2020.

Airfield Capital Works P0007 (Pearce, Gingin, East Sale and Oakey)

This $149.0 million project will provide major maintenance to aircraft pavement and aeronautical ground lighting to RAAF Bases Pearce, Gingin, East Sale and Army Aviation Centre Oakey.

There is $128.6 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by late 2020.

Defence Force School of Signals (DFSS) Redevelopment Project (Victoria)

This $115.6 million project will provide working accommodation at Simpson barracks, Victoria to support DFSS Maritime Communications and Information Systems Wing at HMAS Cerberus.

There is $13.9 million programmed for expenditure at all sites in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled to be complete by early 2020.

Airfield Capital Works P0006 (Curtin, Tindal and Townsville)

This $95.3 million project will resurface asphalt pavement and replace airfield lighting at RAAF Base Curtin (WA), RAAF Base Tindal (NT) and RAAF Base Townsville (QLD).

There is $8.0 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by mid-2022.

Space Surveillance Telescope (JP 3029 Phase 2) (Western Australia)

This $97.2 million project will provide facilities and infrastructure to support the operation of the Space Surveillance Telescope, which will enable Australian Defence Force space surveillance capability, enhanced global surveillance capability, and an increased ability to track space debris.

There is $6.0 million programmed for expenditure at Harold E Holt, Exmouth in 2019‑20.

The project is scheduled for completion by late 2019.

Defence High Performance Computing Centre (South Australia)

This $68.8 million project will provide facilities to house the high performance computing equipment as well as secure meeting, auditorium, and training facilities located at DSTG Edinburgh.

There is $57.4 million programmed for expenditure at RAAF Base Edinburgh in 2019‑20.

The project is scheduled for completion by mid-2020.

LAND 17 Phase 1B/1C (various locations)

This $57.1 million project will provide facilities at eight Defence establishments to provide the necessary working, storage, maintenance and training facilities to support the additional Lightweight Towed Howitzer and simulation capability being acquired under LAND 17 Phase 1B/1C.

There is $1.2 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by late 2019.

AIR 2025 Phase 6 Jindalee Operational Radar Networks (JORN) Facilities Project (various locations)

This $50.7 million project will provide new facilities and infrastructure to support the mid-life upgrade of the JORN capability under AIR2025 Phase 6, with priority works at the JORN Radar 3 Receive (Mount Everard) and Transmit (Harts Range) sites near Alice Springs, NT.

There is $33.0 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by late 2020.

LAND 4502 Phase 1 Additional CH-47F Chinook Facilities

This $49.9 million project will provide new facilities to 5 Aviation Regiment to support the introduction and sustainment of three new additional CH-47F Chinook Medium Lift Helicopters and associated integration systems at RAAF Base Townsville.

There is $33.3 million programmed for expenditure at RAAF Base Townsville in 2019‑20.

The project is scheduled for completion by mid-2021.

REDFIN Infrastructure (JP 2097 Phase 1B) (various locations)

This $50.5 million project will provide facilities for the Special Operations Vehicle fleet to support mobility and communications for Special Operations Forces.

There is $3.9 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by mid-2019.

LAND 200 Tranche 2 Battlefield Communications Systems Facilities Project (various locations)

This $24.3 million project will provide training and storage infrastructure to support the rollout of Battlefield Management Systems (BMS) at seven locations.

There is $23.1 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by late 2019.

LAND 998 Phase 1 Replacement Aviation Fire Truck Facilities Project (various locations)

This $21.5 million project will provide garaging, chemical storage, testing and training facilities on seven locations to support the introduction into service of the replacement aviation fire trucks being procured under LAND 998 Phase 1.

There is $9.5 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

The project is scheduled for completion by early 2020.

JP 157 Ph1 Replacement Aviation Refuelling Vehicles (various locations)

This $40.4 million project will provide new/upgraded facilities to support a new fleet of aviation refuelling vehicles to be procured by JP157 Phase 1 at 15 Defence sites.  The Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group project involves procurement of larger (semi-trailer), medium (rigid frame) and smaller hydrant cart tankers, for distribution across Australian Defence Force airfields nationally and to RMAF Butterworth. 

There is $4.9 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

 The project is scheduled for completion by late 2019.

LAND 2110 Phase 1B—Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence (CBRND) Facilities (various locations)

This $16.7 million project will provide new and refurbished facilities including training and storage facilities at 14 Defence sites to support Australian Defence Force CBRND activities.

There is $12.7 million programmed for expenditure across all sites in 2019-20.

Construction is scheduled for completion by late 2019.

Defence 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 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 Australian Defence Force capability.

In 2018, Defence finalised the Defence Contamination Management Manual. The manual offers practical guidance and tools to support management of contaminated sites to reduce risks to human health, the environment and Defence capability.

Defence is continuing a trial partnership with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy to improve biodiversity management of the Yampi Sound Training Area in the West Kimberley through managing pests, weeds, bushfire and threatened species. The Australian Wildlife Conservancy works in cooperation with the Dambimangari traditional owners and provides 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.

The Defence estate renewable energy program provides alternative energy to support fixed electricity supplies for the Defence estate and offer added energy security measures. To date Defence has installed approximately 1.2 megawatts of renewable energy across the estate with a further 13.5 megawatts planned, commencing 2019-20. This program provides investment in regional and remote areas for installation, operation and maintenance of large scale solar and battery storage. Regional environmental benefits are derived through the reduction in reliance on base load energy in remote regions.

Management of Per-and Poly-Fluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) at Defence Bases

Defence will continue to implement a national PFAS Investigation and Management Program at 27 Defence establishments across Australia to:

  • better understand the nature and extent of PFAS contamination originating from Defence establishments; and
  • provide communities with information on investigation outcomes and management responses which support these affected communities to live in a manner consistent with the health advice.

Defence will also continue to provide alternative sources of drinking water as a precautionary measure to eligible residents located within an area under investigation or management (where Perfluorooctanoic sulphonate (PFOS) or Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is detected in a residential bore, rainwater tank or other existing source of drinking water). To manage the extent and nature of contamination, Defence will extend its water treatment activities at Army Aviation Centre Oakey and RAAF Bases Williamtown, Tindal and Edinburgh. These treatment activities will assist in mitigating the impact of PFAS contamination in the surrounding communities. Additionally, Defence will continue to work with Australian industry to identify effective remediation technologies to treat contaminated water and soils at its management sites.

The Australian Government has also provided $13.0 million to fund a research program to be led by the Australian Research Council to identify innovative technologies to treat PFAS contamination.

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 and housekeeping, transport, access control, waste management services, land and environment management, pest and vermin management, firefighting, 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 Housing Australia

Defence Housing Australia (DHA) provides housing and related services to members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and their families in accordance with the Defence Housing Australia Act 1987 and service agreements with Defence.

DHA has 20 offices that deliver customer facing services to ADF members and their families and investors. They are supported by four telephone contact centres that are the first point-of-contact for housing services, maintenance services and the allocation of on-base Living-in Accommodation, as well as head office in Canberra and an office in Sydney’s central business district. Thirteen DHA offices are located in regional Australia, four of which are on regional ADF bases for Defence personnel only. Two of DHA’s telephone contact centres are in regional Australia.

DHA manages approximately 18,300 properties worth $11.5 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 eight residential development projects in progress in regional Australia. These projects are located in Newcastle (NSW), Sale and Hastings (VIC), Ipswich and Townsville (QLD) and Baldivis (WA). The estimated value of the projects on completion is $548 million. Subject to receiving the necessary planning approvals, DHA will undertake a further six residential development projects in regional Australia. These projects are in Newcastle (NSW), Ipswich and Toowoomba (QLD) and Rockingham (WA). The estimated value of the projects on completion is $353.0 million.

DHA also manages a multi-million dollar Defence-funded upgrade, construction and redevelopment program. DHA is managing five current projects in regional Australia. They are located in East Sale (VIC), Katherine (NT, two projects), Exmouth (WA) and Puckapunyal (VIC). The estimated value of the projects on completion is $43.3 million. DHA anticipates undertaking an additional two future Defence-funded projects in regional locations including Woomera (SA) and Kapooka (NSW). The estimated value of these future projects on completion is $33.2 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.

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