Joint media release
- Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Riverina, the Hon Michael McCormack MP
- Minister for Defence, the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC
Wagga Wagga Defence sites will benefit from the Government’s $10 billion investment over the next decade into New South Wales Defence facilities.
As forecast through the recently released 2020 Force Structure Plan, Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the Government’s redevelopment of Wagga Wagga bases will ensure the city’s continued strategic importance to the defence of Australia.
“The projects include the redevelopment of facilities at Blamey Barracks – Kapooka and RAAF Base Wagga,” Minister Reynolds said.
“Wagga Wagga’s Defence bases provide initial training for every soldier, airman and airwoman in the Army and Air Force. Many Non-Commissioned Officers and officers post to Wagga as instructors at some stage in their career.
“Wagga Wagga will continue to play a vital role building the ADF Australia needs by shaping the ADF’s biggest asset – its people.”
Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price, said the projects are designed to get best value for money for taxpayers, while maximising local industry involvement in the delivery of facilities and infrastructure.
“These projects will focus heavily on base infrastructure, such as electrical, ICT and water remediation,” Minister Price said.
“Further detail will be announced as the projects develop, and will include information to help local small businesses win work through the Government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack welcomed confirmation of planned major investment in Wagga Wagga’s two defence bases, initially flagged in the 2016 Defence White Paper.
“As Assistant Minister for Defence at the time, I fought hard to secure substantial funding of nearly $1 billion to upgrade these bases, which have been a part of our community for nearly 80 years, stretching back to the 1940s,” Mr McCormack said.
“Wagga Wagga is Australia’s only inland tri-service city and enjoys a special relationship with the Australian Defence Force.
“I’ve seen that not only as the Member for Riverina, but also as Assistant Minister for Defence, Minister for Veterans Affairs and Defence Personnel and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC.
“Upgrades of Blamey Barracks and RAAF Base Wagga will ensure that relationship continues into the future.”
Mr McCormack said he was delighted Defence planned to maximise the involvement of local businesses in the upgrades, which would deliver massive flow-on effects for the regional economy.
Details on specific projects will be announced as the projects develop, and will include information to help local businesses position themselves to maximise their opportunities to win work through the Government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative.