'Work for locals': $1b military deal to boost jobs for Gladstone

THE $1b military grounds investment at Shoalwater Bay is expected to have benefits flowed on to Gladstone contractors and industries.

A Singaporean Trade Deal finalised this week will triple the number of army personnel, visiting Shoalwater Bay Training Facility annually, to 14,000.

A Japanese Ground Self Defence Force soldier and an Australian Army soldier confirm their objective is secured in the Urban Operations Training Facility at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, during Exercise Southern Jackaroo/Diamond Sprint 16.
A Japanese Ground Self Defence Force soldier and an Australian Army soldier confirm their objective is secured in the Urban Operations Training Facility at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, during Exercise Southern Jackaroo/Diamond Sprint 16. CPL Dan Pinhorn

While the training facility is Livingstone-based, the project will benefit Gladstone too, our region's Mayor Matt Burnett said.

During a visit to inspect the Shoalwater Bay facilities, Defence Minister, Senator Marise Payne made clear the government's intentions to see significant benefits returned to local businesses.

Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd said there were job opportunities to improve the existing training facilities including constructing accommodation, roads, fences, and much more.

>> Defence force in discussion with property owners

"There have - in the past - been issues with major tenders going to 'Tier 1' contractors with no interest in actually doing the work and then sub-contracting down the line, narrowing profits as the contract progresses. I'm told this will not be tolerated with this project and will be keenly watched."

"Both Singapore and Australian governments are keen to see local companies doing this work; roughly $1 billion will be spent in CQ," Mr O'Dowd said.
 

Action cameras:
Action cameras:

"We have the skills and the workers to perform many of these tasks," he said.

Gladstone mayor Matt Burnett met with Defence Minister Marise Payne when she confirmed the deal this week, announcing it would bring a $1billion injection to Capricornia.

Mr Burnett said Gladstone's port would be a vital service, assisting with transporting any equipment that needed to arrive via water.

He also suggested to Ms Payne the use of Gladstone's 10,000 hectare state development area for logistics purposes.

"If you're servicing the military at Shoalwater Bay then it pays to be closer, but if it's port-related activity then it should be closer to Gladstone," Mr Burnett said in relation to the SDA.

 

 

A Gladstone Ports Corporation spokesperson said GPC provided ports infrastructure, through which the Singaporean military along with the Australian, New Zealand and American defence forces transport their equipment from time to time.

"The Port of Gladstone has the capacity to manage any increase in throughput," they said.

The Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, struck between the two nations in May this year, is a $2.25 billion deal for Queensland.