Today Defence releases the outcomes of the Social and Economic Assessments of the impacts associated with the six-month rotations of 1100 United States Marines in northern Australia proposed to start in 2014.
The assessments found that most impacts resulting from a rotation of 1100 Marines were expected to be positive or neutral, and that the economic impact would be modest and positive.
The Social Assessment noted that there is limited scope for a rotation of 1100 Marines to have a major social impact.
While there is potential for some negative social impacts, these were not judged to be large enough to cause concern to the great majority of people consulted.
The Social Assessment acknowledged concerns raised by some members of the community about these rotations, including aircraft noise, air traffic safety, sexual assault and the adequacy of legal arrangements governing the presence of United States military personnel in Australia.
These issues will form part of Government’s consideration as it determines the detailed arrangements for future United States Marine Corps rotations. A decision on the 2014 rotation is expected in the near future.
The Australian Government is yet to make decisions on the detailed arrangements for future Marine Corps rotations.
The Social and Economic Assessments released today by Defence will help inform Government consideration about the size, nature and timing of the next increment in possible future rotations.
The Economic Assessment suggests that a rotation of 1100 Marines is expected to contribute an additional $5.6 million to the Northern Territory Gross State Product in 2011-12 dollars, or $5090 per Marine.
The Economic Assessment found that the impact on Northern Territory industry would benefit the retail trade, transport, recreational and other business service sectors.
The Economic Assessment noted that assumptions underlying the economic modelling were conservative, and it is likely that there will be additional expenditure into the Australian economy over and above these conservative estimates.
Rotations of US Marines to northern Australia were announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and United States President Barack Obama on 16 November 2011.
These rotations support Australia’s long-held strategic interests in supporting United States engagement in our region in a manner that promotes peace, stability and prosperity.
The intent over coming years is to establish a rotational presence of up to a 2500 person Marine Air Ground Task Force, rotating into northern Australia in the northern dry season.
The Economic Assessment is consistent with the Assessment released by Defence in October 2012 on the outcomes of Social and Economic Assessments of the impacts associated with the initial company-sized rotational deployments of 200 to 250 United States Marines to Darwin in 2012 and 2013.
The initial rotation of around 200 Marines occurred between April and September 2012, and a second rotation of around 200 Marines arrived in Darwin on 21 April 2013 for six months.
The Social Impact Assessment is available at:
The Economic Impact Assessment is available at:
Deloitte Access Economic conducted the assessments of the social and economic impacts associated with rotations of 1100 United States Marines in northern Australia in 2014.
Mr Smith's Office: Andrew Porter (02) 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392
Mr Snowdon's Office: Marcus Butler (02) 6277 7820 or 0417 917 796
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999