Following consultation with the local community, businesses, representative groups and landholders, the Department of Defence today confirmed the Shoalwater Bay Training Area will be expanded and Defence will seek to develop an alternative site in the vicinity of Townsville as part of the Australia-Singapore Military training Initiative.
Land will only be purchased from willing sellers in accordance with the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne’s statement on 7 February 2017.
Following the consideration of community feedback, Defence will seek to purchase land from willing sellers at one alternate site near either Greenvale, Ravenswood or Pentland. Defence will not expand the existing Townsville Field Training Area to support this Initiative.
Based on initial assessments, a training area near Greenvale would best meet the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) and Singapore Armed Forces’ requirements, both now and into the future.
Defence will conduct due diligence and further engagement with willing sellers near Greenvale. Sites near Ravenswood and Pentland will be considered should Greenvale prove not to be feasible.
The Government will seek to purchase land from willing sellers around Shoalwater Bay. Defence will also commence detailed construction design work for facilities and infrastructure.
Construction will occur at both locations in parallel from 2019.
The delivery of enhanced training areas in Central and North Queensland will benefit the ADF’s training capacity, as well as Australia’s bilateral defence relationship with Singapore. It is part of the Government’s commitment to creating strong and enduring economic opportunities for local communities and businesses.
Defence will host community walk in sessions and industry engagement briefings in the local areas in the near future.