Boosting the economy and jobs in the Northern Territory

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The Hon Melissa Price MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for Science and Technology

Media contacts

Ben Spencer (Minister Price’s office): +61 412 754 310

Steve Kuper (Minister Price’s office): +61 421 668 874

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18 February 2022

The Morrison Government is boosting the Northern Territory’s economy with a $282 million injection across two Defence projects that will create local jobs and opportunities for businesses across the Territory.

The Morrison Government will establish a Regional Maintenance Centre in Darwin to support our national naval shipbuilding enterprise, with a tender for a new Industry Partner to head up the centre to be advertised in coming weeks. The establishment of a centre in Darwin reflects its status as a critical strategic location.

In addition, our Government will invest up to $122 million in 34 Department of Defence projects to bolster Australia’s defence capabilities across the Northern Territory as part of the 2022-23 Estate Works Program.

The Prime Minister said the total $282 million economic injection in Defence projects would create hundreds of jobs, and support thousands more.

“The Regional Maintenance Centre alone will initially inject around $160 million into the local economy, create around 70 jobs over the next five years, and support the work of more than 1,500 tradies from the Darwin region,” the Prime Minister said.

“It will play a key role in sustaining complex naval capabilities, initially including the new evolved Cape Class Patrol Boats and Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels.

“This will provide valuable long-term contract opportunities to large and small defence industry businesses from Darwin to Alice Springs, strengthening the local defence industry and growing jobs.

“Our up to $122 million investment in 2022-23 for Defence estate works across the Territory will see more than 200 tradies from local businesses employed during the design, planning and delivery stages across the 34 projects.

“We will upgrade airfields, working accommodation, and critical communication stations, as well as improving bases including the RAAF Base Tindal, RAAF Base Darwin, Robertson Barracks, and Defence Training areas such as the Bradshaw Training area.

“The Northern Territory is a key strategic area for Defence and it is the guardian of Australia’s northern approaches. These investments are recognition of the key role the Northern Territory provides for Defence and Australia.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the investments in the Northern Territory were further evidence of the Government’s commitment to growing Australia’s defence industry.

“We have built an incredibly strong record on local job creation, particularly in the Northern Territory,” Minister Price said.

“More than $8 billion will be invested over the coming decade into the refresh and redevelopment of Defence facilities in the NT.

“The local carpenters, electricians, boilermakers, mechanics and many other tradespeople are getting unprecedented opportunities to support our Defence bases.

“This level of support is being mirrored across the country, where we will invest $270 billion in defence capability over the coming decade, supporting more than 100,000 jobs across the economy.

“It is in stark contrast to Labor, which when last in government cut Defence spending by $18 billion – its lowest level since World War II – and would no doubt look to repeat those cuts if it were to slide into government.

“Given its appalling record of failing to take Defence investment seriously, the Labor Party simply cannot be trusted when it comes to the defence of our nation.”

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