Australian Army soldiers, Private Clayton Baird and Private Neil Sykes, from 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment, during a reconnaissance and surveillance training exercise in the Townsville Field Training Area.
Australian Army soldiers, Private Clayton Baird and Private Neil Sykes, from 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment, during a reconnaissance and surveillance training exercise in the Townsville Field Training Area.

UNITED FRONT: Governments on board defence push

THE push to make Townsville the prime spot for Australian Defence Force investment will be a three-pronged attack with federal and state MPs jumping on board.

On Tuesday, Townsville City Council announced its plan to align the city with defence needs.

The Townsville North Queensland Defence Strategy 2020-2030 outlines how the city intends to expand on its strengths to support the defence industry.

Mayor Jenny Hill said this was the first time a well-structured, unified strategy had been developed to guide meaningful engagement around defence investment in North Queensland.

Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Federal Herbert MP Phillip Thompson said he had already spoken to Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds about North Queensland tapping in to the $208bn earmarked for defence development in Australia.

"Townsville has the largest defence force bases in the country and it is a strategic asset for the Australian Defence Force, so having extra services through the $270bn (federal government investment) makes sense to me and I know it makes sense to my colleagues," Mr Thompson said.

"Townsville is not a side thought, but needs to be at the forefront of minds when deciding on an extra military base or assets."

Mr Thompson said he would work with all three levels of government to ensure Townsville got the best out of defence investment.

Townsville MP Scott Stewart. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Townsville MP Scott Stewart. Picture: Alix Sweeney

State Townsville MP Scott Stewart (pictured) said there were a lot of opportunities for Townsville in the defence space.

"Last month we announced funding for seven local businesses through the $1.5m Defence and Aerospace Industry Development Fund," he said.

"We've got a strategy in place to help local companies scale up in this sector and start exporting globally."

Originally published as UNITED FRONT: Governments on board defence push


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