INDEPENDENT NEWS

White Paper Delivers For Regional Australia

Published: Wed 6 Dec 2000 04:43 PM
Defence 2000 White Paper Our Future Defence Force
Hon. John Moore, MP Minister for Defence
Wednesday, 6th December, 2000 MIN342/00
White Paper Delivers For Regional Australia
The Minister for Defence, John Moore, today said that the Federal Government’s Defence White Paper included valuable initiatives which will provide significant benefits to communities across Australia.
“The enhancements to Australian Defence Force (ADF) capability, outlined in Defence 2000: Our Future Defence Force, will be supported by the biggest short-term funding boost for Defence in 20 years,” Mr Moore said.
Defence funding will increase by an average of 3 percent per annum in real terms over the coming decade and there will be an immediate increase of $500 million in 2001-02 and $1,000 million in the following year. A significant amount of this investment is expected to be spent in Australia.
Specific measures contained in the White Paper which will be of particular benefit to regional centres include:
 Expansion in the number of Infantry battalions at a level of ‘high readiness’ from 4 to 6. This commitment will continue beyond the East Timor deployment and generate ongoing benefits for Darwin, Brisbane and Townsville which are home to large Defence communities
 Two squadrons of Armed Reconnaissance helicopters which will be based in Townsville and Darwin with additional training facilities developed at Oakey, Queensland
 The Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft project which will bring significant work to the Hunter and Brisbane regions with aircraft eventually being based and maintained at Williamtown, New South Wales
 Platform modifications and an upgrade program for the Collins Class submarines which will continue at the Australian Submarine Corporation facilities in Adelaide, South Australia
 A Federal Government commitment to maintain the F-111 as our principal strike platform which will have important, long-term benefits for the community of Amberley, Queensland
 A new Army combat training and evaluation centre to be established in Townsville
 A commitment to build three air warfare destroyers, replace the current patrol boats and support ships, and upgrade and modernise Australia’s surface fleet. This will provide significant opportunities for the domestic shipbuilding industry and related industry sectors
 The upgrade of 350, M113 armoured personnel carriers which will provide additional work in the Albury/Wodonga area, New South Wales
 Further development of the Nulka missile decoy system which will provide work opportunities in South Australia
 Opportunities for companies around Australia to tender for a range of upgrade and modernisation projects for aircraft, ships, vehicles and communications systems
 Commitment to expanding the participation of young Australians in the Cadet Scheme and the resources available to the Scheme. This includes widening the range of institutions offering participation in the Cadets. The Government will increase annual funding for the Cadet Scheme to $30 million by 2002 and provide ongoing funding to the 417 Cadet units located throughout Australia
“These enhancements will ensure that the ADF is able to defend Australia, now and into the future. The Federal Government’s White Paper ensures that our Defence Force will always be in a position to contribute to the security of our region and remain a first class military organisation,” Mr Moore said.

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