The Morrison Government’s updated Defence Strategy and ongoing commitment to maximising Australian industry involvement in Defence capability projects will create new jobs and investment in Victoria over the coming decade and beyond.
As detailed in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan released by Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP and Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC today, the Government will invest a record $270 billion in Defence capability and infrastructure over the next decade across Australia.
Through this Plan, there will be a $3.6 billion investment over the coming decade into the refresh and redevelopment of Defence facilities in Victoria including:
• Bases in the greater Melbourne area including Victoria Barracks Melbourne, Simpson Barracks Watsonia, RAAF Base Point Cook, Defence Science and Technology Fishermans Bend.
• Bases in regional Victoria including the Albury/Wodonga Military Area and the Puckapunyal Military Area.
Local industry involvement in the delivery of these projects will be maximised through this Government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative. This ensures that local suppliers, contractors and tradies have the opportunity to secure more of this work, creating more jobs for local communities in Victoria.
This investment comes on top of the Government’s significant investment in building and sustaining Australian Defence Force capability in Victoria.
Over the 12 months to March 2020, Defence has invested around $3.6 billion in Victoria. Examples of key programs and activities in Victoria include:
• The delivery of Next-Generation Medium and Heavy Logistics Trucks and Modules sustaining around 95 jobs
• The build of 1,100 Hawkei vehicles for command, liaison, utility and reconnaissance roles supporting around 370 jobs
• The sustainment of Army’s battle management system supporting around 75 jobs
• The manufacture of ADF combat uniforms in Bendigo sustaining around 105 jobs
• The supply of munitions for the ADF from Benalla supporting approximately 300 jobs.
Defence’s own imagery analysis, including the capability provided by the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation’s Geospatial Analysis Centre at Bendigo is already enhancing Defence’s imagery and targeting capability to support ADF operations.
Significantly, the Morrison Government will invest in an additional regiment of self-propelled howitzers, doubling the operational fleet. This is a significant increase to our 2019 commitment to build 30 self-propelled howitzers and 15 armoured ammunition vehicles in Geelong, and will provide vital capability for Army to complement existing land-based strike capabilities.
We will also continue construction and maintenance of the Australian-built Bushmaster and Hawkei protected mobility vehicles in Victoria to ensure ADF personnel are protected against explosive and ballistic threats on the battlefield.
Today, Victoria is home to around 15,000 Defence personnel, including ADF permanent and reserve members and Australian Public Service employees supporting key facilities, as well as intelligence, and science and technology capabilities. This number is forecast to grow over the coming years.
The policies and investment in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan will make the ADF more capable for the wide range of scenarios Australia will face in the future, more agile to rapid changes, and more potent if a situation should call for it.
What is more, much of this investment in Australia’s defence capabilities will go directly to Australian industry, creating jobs and skills. This Government’s investment in defence capability is already benefitting around 15,000 Australian businesses, who support around 70,000 Australian workers. These numbers are set to increase in line with these new opportunities for Australian industry.
This is a comprehensive plan to further build the resilience, agility and capability of the ADF, and create a more secure and safe Australia. The people of Victoria can have confidence that this Government will ensure that we can defend our nation and protect our interests today and into the future.