The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, and Senator Jan McLucas, Labor Senator for Queensland welcomed the start of construction on 540 new Defence housing units in Townsville.
Senator Feeney turned the first sod for the units at Lavarack Barracks, Townsville today.
“The Labor Gillard Government is investing about $130 million in this new housing for Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel,” Senator Feeney said.
“Our ADF personnel deserve the best living facilities. These new buildings will not only create jobs in Townsville, but deliver on one of Labor’s election commitments to improve accommodation for our diggers,” Senator Feeney said.
Labor Senator for Queensland, Senator Jan McLucas said: “This is a win for local jobs. It’s also great news for our Queensland ADF personnel.”
“The local contractor will employ approximately 265 people on this construction site over the next two years,” Senator McLucas said.
Each of the self-contained and furnished units contains a kitchenette, internet and phone connections, a personal balcony and an ensuite.
The facility will also include car parking, secure storage space, BBQ and recreation facilities.
This new housing is part of Defence’s Project Single Living Environment and Accommodation Precinct (LEAP) program, a significant infrastructure program which will deliver up to 6,400 individual self-contained accommodation units at Defence establishments across Australia.
Project Single LEAP Phase 1 delivered 1,395 units in December 2008 in Brisbane and Sydney.
Phase 2 will deliver a further 3,015 units across fourteen Defence sites – an investment of almost $1 billion.
The program operates under a Public Private Partnership arrangement with Plenary Living.
In addition to Single LEAP Phase 2, Defence will invest a further $60 million over the coming year for facilities at Lavarack Barracks.
Lorna Clarke (Feeney) 0408 345 730
Belinda Featherstone (McLucas) 0408 743 457