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Government commits funding to boost Top End defence industry

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price have announced a multimillion-dollar investment into Northern Territory-based defence SME capability, with critical infrastructure investment.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price have announced a multimillion-dollar investment into Northern Territory-based defence SME capability, with critical infrastructure investment.

The Commonwealth government has committed to $490 million worth of investment into critical defence infrastructure across the Northern Territory as the nation embarks on the largest defence build-up and modernisation since the Second World War. 

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Defence Minister Linda Reynolds explained the investment provides greater surety for the construction industry in the Top End as the nation continues to recover from COVID-19.

"The Morrison government will inject $190 million into existing major projects over the next two financial years to fast-track the delivery of facilities and infrastructure in Defence locations across the Top End," Minister Reynolds said. 

This was reinforced by Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price, who said an additional $300 million will be invested in the existing national Estate Works Program over 2020-21 and 2021-22 to help with sustaining the Defence Estate.

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"This additional funding builds on the $870 million investment in the Estate Works Program announced in May 2020, and which is providing opportunities to local businesses across Australia, including small businesses in the NT," Minister Price said.

Senator for the Northern Territory Dr Sam McMahon said Larrakeyah Defence Precinct, RAAF Darwin, Robertson Barracks, Mt Bundey Training Area and the Delamere Air Weapons Range will benefit from the works package.

"These works will be tailored to ensure that small to medium sized enterprises can bid for this work and will be incorporated into both current and new projects so the Defence Estate is safe and fit-for-purpose for the members of the Australian Defence Force," Senator McMahon said.

Local industry will be able to tender for works including a health centre, explosive ordnance storage, a gymnasium, mess facilities and additional airfield works.

Government commits funding to boost Top End defence industry
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