The Federal Government’s $1.1 billion program of works at the RAAF Base Tindal has commenced on the 7th of September. This will create hundreds of local jobs while ensuring the Australian Defence Force (ADF) can continue to deliver a potent air combat capability from the Northern Territory.
The package is part of this Government’s $8 billion in planned spending on Northern Territory Defence facilities under Developing Northern Australia initiatives. The aim is to increase the capacity of RAAF Base Tindal to support KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport operations, which are a key part of the core Air Power role of air mobility, in particular air-to-air refuelling and air logistics support missions. Component 2 aims to support the United States Force Posture Initiatives by improving accessibility to the RAAF Base Tindal for United States Air Force aircraft. The United States Force Posture Initiatives is an element of the Force Posture Agreement between the Australian and United States Governments.
Subject to Parliamentary approval the construction work is expected to commence in mid-2020 with the expected completion in late-2027.
As part of Australian commitments under the United States Force Posture Initiatives, the $737 million RAAF Tindal Airfield Works and Associated Infrastructure project will upgrade the airfield, increase aviation fuel storage, re-invest in ageing base engineering services and provide additional living-in accommodation for posted Air Force personnel.
Turning the sod at the site in Katherine, Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said RAAF Base Tindal is vital to northern Australia’s air combat capability and support to our allies.
“Over the next decade, the planned works will further enhance Defence air combat capability and our engagement with allies and other nations through the conduct of joint exercises, including our Enhanced Air Cooperation with the United States Air Force,” Minister Reynolds said.
“A concurrent $437 million RAAF Base Tindal redevelopment project will also address critical upgrades to base engineering services including power, water and sewerage to support current and future projected demands on base infrastructure.”
Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price said it’s now more important than ever to back Australian businesses and create more Australian jobs.
“Local businesses, suppliers and Indigenous companies will benefit from this package of works with a target of 70 per cent local participation rate,” Minister Price said.
Senator for the Northern Territory, Dr Sam McMahon said the works will boost the local economy.
“These works will continue to provide strong economic benefits for the Top End over an extended delivery phase, with significant opportunities for the local construction industry to tender for sub-contract packages.”
During recent works, Managing Contractor Lendlease initiated an expo to allow Katherine students to sample trades and speak directly with trade apprentices, trainers, local employers and industry representatives.
“Initiatives like these enable us to build the skills and expertise required to support future Defence capability,” Minister Reynolds said.
Construction is expected to conclude in 2027.
Further detail on the proposed works can be found at the project website: https://www.defence.gov.au/id/RAAF-Tindal/Default.asp.