Major Defence works bring employment boost for Central Queensland

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Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Melissa Price MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for Science and Technology

The Hon Michelle Landry MP

Member for Capricornia

Media contacts

Kathy Quinn (Minister Price’s Office): +61 468 369 301

Defence Media: (02) 6127 1999,

Release content

7 February 2020

Joint media release

  • The Hon Michelle Landry MP, Member for Capricornia

Critical upgrades to one of Australia’s most significant military training areas will get underway within months, delivering hundreds of jobs and $70 million worth of opportunities for local businesses.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP and Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry MP, announced a joint venture between Downer EDI Works Pty Ltd and FK Gardner and Sons Pty Ltd (Downer/FKG JV) had been awarded a $125 million contract for the delivery of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) Remediation Project.

“The upgrades will enable our soldiers to train more effectively, support new military capabilities and minimise the impact of training activities on the surrounding environment,” Minister Price said.

“The project will provide an economic boost to regional Queensland with Downer/FKG JV aiming for 80 per cent of the total subcontractor trade packages to go to businesses in and around the regional centres of Mackay, Gladstone, Emerald and Rockhampton.”

Ms Landry said the project’s construction workforce would peak at 220 people, and 59 subcontractor trade packages totalling more than $70 million would be offered to local industry over the life of the project.

“Downer/FKG JV has also pledged that at least three per cent of the workforce will be made up of Indigenous Australians, with two per cent of the contract price to be subcontracted to Indigenous Enterprises,” Ms Landry said.

“We’re ensuring – through our Government’s defence procurement policies – that it is always the local community that benefits from major projects like these.”

The project includes an upgraded training facility, field hospital site, campsite and airfield and the remediation of internal roads, creek crossings and a beach landing site. Downer/FKG JV was previously engaged to develop the project’s design.

SWBTA is located approximately 80 kilometres north of Rockhampton, Queensland and is the Australian Defence Force’s primary training area for the conduct of large-scale, joint-force military training exercises, including Exercise TALISMAN SABRE.

Construction on the project is expected to commence in May of this year and is anticipated to be complete by mid-2022.

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