The Department of Defence has denied reports that it has been “secretly planning” a new port facility near Darwin to support the deployment of US Marines in Australia for training.
A report from the ABC last week claimed that anonymous government officials revealed plans to develop the Glyde Point area into a deep-water port, which would be capable of accommodating large warships.
These conditions would be “ideally suited for more than 2,000 Marines and their equipment” that complete regular rotations in the region.
However, a release from the Department of Defence poured cold water on the report and reads as follows:
“The Department of Defence has not engaged in any classified or unclassified planning with respect to developing, funding or supporting an alternative military, commercial or mixed-use port at Glyde Point or elsewhere in the vicinity of Darwin.
“This information was provided to journalists last week.
“Any proposal for a facility at Glyde Point, or elsewhere in the Northern Territory, is a matter for the relevant Northern Territory authorities.”
In 2015, Darwin port was controversially leased to Chinese company Landbridgefor 99-years, which was followed by the Pentagon revealing they were looking to request to have a permanent naval base in Australia.