Defence Accommodation Precinct Darwin

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The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Assistant Minister for the Republic

Media contact

Ben Leeson (Minister Thistlethwaite’s Office) - +61 404 648 275 -

The Hon Natasha Fyles MLA

Chief Minister of The Northern Territory

Ministerial contact

Jasmine Roussos (Chief Minister’s Office) - 0439 003 248

Release content

3 July 2023

The Albanese Government and the Northern Territory Government have today signed an agreement to establish the Defence Accommodation Precinct Darwin at Howard Springs.

The agreement will enable the Department of Defence to use the Howard Springs facility as an accommodation precinct from July 2023.

The first cohort of over 1,300 military personnel from Australia and partner nations are scheduled to arrive at the facility later this month to participate in Exercise Talisman Sabre.

The facility will relieve pressure on limited on-base Defence accommodation in Darwin and ensure Defence requirements do not place excessive demand on local hotel accommodation during major exercises scheduled during the peak season.

The five-year lease arrangement between the Commonwealth and Northern Territory is estimated to cost approximately $50 million per year.

The estimated annual cost covers all expenses in operating and maintaining the facility, including: lease payments to the Northern Territory Government, catering, hospitality and cleaning services, utilities, transport, security and waste disposal.

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Defence, Matt Thistlethwaite:

“This agreement is another step in improving the Australian Defence Force’s ability to operate from Australia’s northern bases, one of the six priority areas for immediate action identified by the Albanese Government in response to the Defence Strategic Review.”

“The Defence Accommodation Precinct Darwin will provide a high standard of temporary accommodation for our personnel conducting operations and exercises from Darwin.”

Quotes attributable to Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Natasha Fyles:

“The Northern Territory has a long and proud history of hosting multi-national military exercises and in doing so, provides unique and important training opportunities for the Australian Defence Force and our allied partners.”

“The Centre for National Resilience was there for Australia in the beginning, during, and the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Territory stands ready to support Australia and our defence capabilities.”

“Repurposing the former Centre for National Resilience facility as a Defence accommodation precinct allows Defence to more readily host visiting forces and services in the Territory whilst also supporting the availability of short term, business and tourism accommodation options for use in the greater Darwin area, particularly during the peak season.”

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