Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne today announced the appointment of Townsville business leader and former Army Officer Mick Reilly as the dedicated Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative Business and Community Liaison.
Minister Payne said the Business and Community Liaison will lead local engagement for the Initiative on behalf of Defence, keeping community leaders and local elected representatives informed.
Mr Reilly has lived in North Queensland for the past 20 years and has extensive links with the local business community.
“Mr Reilly will ensure Defence is actively addressing the needs of stakeholders in the Central and North Queensland regions as planning and implementation of the initiative continues,” Minister Payne said.
“It is important local communities benefit from this important initiative for Australia, and Mr Reilly’s business acumen, combined with his knowledge of the region will ensure local views are objectively represented to Defence.”
Minister Payne said the Government was committed to supporting local business to participate strongly in the development associated with and ongoing activities of the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative.
“There will be significant economic opportunities in both Central and North Queensland as a result of this initiative,” she said.
“These opportunities will include the construction of facilities and infrastructure on training areas, as well as ongoing support for the increased military presence.”
The Business and Community Liaison will be working with communities in the Rockhampton, Livingstone Shire areas, Charters Towers, and Townsville.
“I welcome Mr Reilly’s appointment and look forward to his insights on how best we can maximise the opportunities the Initiative presents for local communities,” Minister Payne said.
The Business and Community Liaison role complements the existing dedicated Defence presence on the ground in Queensland, supporting the Initiative. Defence representatives have continued to visit landowners, businesses, community groups, local representatives and elected officials since last year as part of Defence’s commitment to placing a priority on the views of the community.
The delivery of enhanced training areas in Central and North Queensland for the growth and development of the Australian Defence Force, and to provide support to Australia’s bilateral defence relationship with Singapore is part of the Government’s commitment to creating strong and enduring economic opportunities for local communities and businesses.
The Business and Community Liaison can be contacted at the following email address: ASMTI.local [at] defence.gov.au