The Minister for Defence, the Hon Marise Payne, and her counterpart Singapore Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen signed a Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Military Training And Training Area Development In Australia today.
The signing took place during the visit of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his delegation to Australia.
The Memorandum of Understanding delivers a framework to implement increased Singapore Armed Forces unilateral Army training in Australia.
It sets the conditions for upgrading the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and Townsville Field Training Area to deliver enhanced training outcomes for both the Singapore Armed Forces and the Australian Defence Force.
Up to 14,000 Singapore Armed Forces personnel will conduct unilateral Army training in Australia for up to 18 weeks per year, almost trebling current arrangements.
Singapore’s training presence will begin to increase next year. Currently up to 6600 Singapore personnel are allowed to conduct training in Australia every year and this will double by 2021.
As this presence increases, the demand for support services and opportunities for local businesses will expand.
About $2 billion will be invested in the Townsville and Rockhampton regions from 2016 to 2026.
Minister Payne said the agreement reflected Australia’s close defence relationship with Singapore, based on practical cooperation.
“Australia and Singapore have a long history of defence engagement, and shared interests in regional stability and security.”
“This will bring us closer as Defence partners and generate significant local economic activity over the next 25 years.”
The Memorandum of Understanding delivers a key outcome from the exchange of letters on the Australia-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, signed by Prime Minister Turnbull and Prime Minister Lee on 4 May 2016.
Henry Budd (Senator Payne's office) 0429 531 143
Defence Media (02) 6127 1999