More than 300 jobs will be created in Eden-Monaro as a result of an almost $700 million Morrison Government investment in the Australian Defence Force’s operational headquarters, the General John Baker Complex.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the $694.4 million investment to upgrade and expand the complex would support the larger workforce needed to plan and conduct ADF operations in a rapidly deteriorating strategic environment.
The General John Baker Complex is home to the Australian Headquarters Joint Operations Command, which commands and controls ADF operations around the world.
“The first priority of our Government is keep Australians safe and this $700 million investment is about ensuring we are doing that,” Minister Price said.
“This project builds on the Morrison Government’s significant investment in Defence capability and ensures that the men and women of the ADF have the equipment they need to defend the nation.
“Once completed, this facility will accommodate up to 1,400 personnel, almost doubling its current capacity to support the ADF’s response to increasingly complex multi-domain operations, including in cyber, space and humanitarian and disaster relief.
“Only the Liberals can be trusted on national security.
“We know that under the last Labor Government, Defence spending was at its lowest level since 1938, falling to just 1.56 per cent of GDP.
“In their last three years in Government, Labor cut Defence spending by 10.5 per cent in real terms.
“Our Government has increased investment in Defence to more than two per cent of GDP.”
Minister Price said the project would provide significant opportunities for local industry to support the delivery phase of the General John Baker Complex expansion.
“This project is a massive win for local industry,” Minister Price said.
“It supports construction jobs and generates economic stimulus for the local Bungendore, Queanbeyan and Canberra economies.”
Senator for New South Wales Jim Molan said the investment was not only a win for Eden-Monaro, but was an important element in strengthening our national security.
“Given the evolution of our strategic environment, now more than ever, we must continue to strengthen our defence capability,” Senator Molan said.
“Successive Labor governments had drastically run our defences down and we cannot afford a Labor government, now of all times.
“Our Government is committed to protecting our nation by equipping the ADF with modern capabilities to best meet future challenges.
“This investment will significantly enhance the ADF’s ability to deploy on a wide range of operations.
“It will also cement Eden-Monaro as one of the most strategically important regions within Australia’s defence system.”
Liberal for Eden-Monaro, Dr Jerry Nockles, said the almost $700 million dollar announcement showed that the Government was taking seriously its commitment to developing investment and jobs in our region.
“The expansion of the Australian Defence Force’s operational headquarters means jobs for local electricians, carpenters, builders, architects, painters and our high tech industries, among others,” Dr Nockles said.
“These 300 jobs will have a multiplier effect for our local Bungendore, Queanbeyan, Palerang, Cooma, and Yass economies, in addition to our region.
“This investment is possible by the Government’s significant commitment to our Defence and jobs creation and is one we need.”
Subject to Parliamentary approval, the works will start in 2023 and be completed by the end of 2025, and include an extension of the current operations building, a new multi-agency collaboration annex and on-site operational accommodation.
The works will be delivered using an existing Public Private Partnership contract arrangement.
Only the Morrison Government has a plan to deliver a strong economy and a stronger future for Australia.