As Cairns plays host to Exercise Pacific Protector, the state is gearing up to capitalise on defence opportunities under the recently unveiled Local Industry Capability Plan.
Townsville contractors are looking to secure multimillion-dollar Defence infrastructure projects under the department's landmark pilot program.
The new plan, which Minister for Defence Marise Payne unveiled in the Northern Territory, aims to give businesses located near where the work is the best shot at securing the contract. Tenderers bidding for major capital facilities projects will be required to state clearly how they have engaged with local industry in providing their tendered solution, and how local industry will specifically be involved in delivering the work packages that underpin the project.
The new framework will be piloted on three projects, including the Townsville Field Training Area Mid-Term Refresh, an around $24 million project to ensure the training area is fit for purpose, safe and environmentally compliant, and the Shoalwater Bay Training Area Redevelopment, an around $135 million substantial infrastructure upgrade project.
"This is fundamentally about ensuring that local companies in the vicinity of our Defence bases, facilities and training areas are properly considered and provided the opportunity to compete and win work," said Minister for Defence Marise Payne.
The pilot projects will inform the development of a Defence Industry Participation Policy the minister will release in the first half of 2018.
This policy will provide a more consistent approach to maximising Australian and local industry involvement in Defence procurement of $4 million and above, recognising that Defence procures a range of different equipment, services and support across many sectors of the Australian economy.
"I will consider further major capital facilities pilot projects while the policy is being developed," Minister Payne said.
Queensland businesses are also hoping the new initiative will strengthen their chances to secure work under the $2.25 billion Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Singapore, an initiative that will deliver enhanced training areas in central and north Queensland.
The initiative will help grow and develop the Australian Defence Force, and will provide support to Australia’s bilateral defence relationship with Singapore, part of the government’s commitment to creating strong and enduring economic opportunities for local communities and businesses.
Development is anticipated to start in 2019 and finish in 2026.
The Queensland government is also hoping Rheinmetall Defence Australia is named as the successful tenderer for the LAND 400 Phase 2 project, which would see Rheinmetall establish its Australia and New Zealand headquarters, and a manufacturing and vehicle maintenance facility, in South-East Queensland.
If successful in its bid, around 100 of the Rheinmetall BOXER CRVs would be based at the Townsville and Enoggera bases.