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Government secures further investment for Northern Australia

6 May 2016

Joint media release by the Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, and the Minister for Northern Australia, Senator the Hon Matthew Canavan

The Government has secured an additional expected $2 billion investment in northern Australia with Singapore to upgrade joint defence training facilities in Townsville and Shoalwater Bay in Queensland.

Following the signing of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in June last year, Australia and Singapore agreed to enhance defence engagement across a number of areas including access to, and the development of, joint defence training areas and facilities in Australia. Singapore will fully fund all development required to support its participation, which is expected to be an investment of around $1 billion at each of the two Queensland sites. 

This investment adds to the Government’s vision for developing northern Australia, as detailed in the Northern Australia White Paper. This blueprint includes more than 50 policy measures, worth $1.2 billion. 

It also comes in the same week that the Government announced that the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility will begin lending from July. Further, this year’s Budget included $2 billion for a National Water Infrastructure Facility that will help capture more of the north’s substantial rainfall, and $100 million for Geoscience Australia to produce potential resource mapping in the region. 

This significant investment is well worth it. Northern Australia contributes more than 11 per cent of Australia’s GDP, includes 40 per cent of Australia’s land mass, but only has five per cent of our population, highlighting its enormous economic growth potential.

“This $2 billion investment will increase our strategic ties with Singapore and will further the development of our north, creating jobs and growth in north Queensland. The Government will continue to push ahead with initiatives that help this vibrant region reach is full economic potential,” Minister Frydenberg said.

“The Defence White Paper already commits more than $5 billion over the next decade to increase Defence presence in Queensland, the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia for upgrading or establishing facilities across the north, including in Townsville, Cairns, Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs. This agreement with Singapore will bring even further defence-related spending around Rockhampton and Townsville and will provide a significant boost to regional economies,” Minister Canavan said.

Media contact:
Mr Frydenberg's office 02 6277 7180
Senator Canavan’s office 02 6277 7739

Department media: media [at] industry.gov.au