FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said he welcomed the release of the 2016 Defence White Paper, which he says sets out the Coalition Government’s comprehensive and responsible long-term plan to ensure Australia’s national security.
“It is the culmination of detailed analysis of our strategic environment, Defence’s priorities and objectives, and the capabilities required to achieve these outcomes,” Mr Joyce said.
The Government will increase Defence spending by $29.9 billion over the next decade to deliver the strategies and plans set out in the 2016 White Paper.
Mr Joyce said the White Paper’s Integrated Investment Program will deliver substantial benefits for New South Wales including:
Enhancing the ADF’s integrated air and missile defence system, including upgrades to the Regional Operations Centre at RAAF Base Williamtown to assist with the monitoring of air and space. These improvements represent an investment of up to $1.3 billion in the decade to 2025-26, and a further $60 million in the decade between 2025-26 and 2035-36.
A significant investment in new infrastructure and facilities over the next decade to support the ADF’s strike and air combat capabilities. This will include upgrades to airfield, weapons, and training facilities at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Williamtown.
RAAF Base Williamtown will be the main base for most of the planned F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, and it will be upgraded with new office accommodation and aircraft hangars.
New air combat capability will be supported through extensions to the runways.
Mr Joyce said the refurbishment of key training facilities at Singleton are planned in the decade to 2025-26, representing an investment of around $50 million, with a broader redevelopment of about $200 million planned in the decade between 2025-26 and 2035-36 will continue to play a crucial role in supporting our land and special forces capability.
“The investments outlined in the Turnbull Government’s 2016 Defence White Paper will strengthen our Defence Force and provide a welcome boost to the economy of New South Wales.”
“In the decade to 2025-26, over $5.8 billion will be invested in upgrading Defence facilities in New South Wales, with a further around $5.9 billion to be invested in the decade between 2025-26 and 2035-36.”
“Defence is already a major employer in New South Wales with around 27,000 Defence personnel based here, which has significant flow-on effects for the local economy,’’ Mr Joyce said.
“Australians can be confident the Coalition Government will continue to deliver on its most important task - defending our nation and protecting and promoting our national interests.’’
The 2016 Defence White Paper, Integrated Investment Program and Defence Industry Policy Statement are available at www.defence.gov.au/whitepaper