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Labor to support the expansion of Townsville's defence maintenance industry



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BILL SHORTEN MP

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS & ABORIGINAL

AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS

MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

THE HON RICHARD MARLES MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE

MEMBER FOR CORIO

JASON CLARE MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INVESTMENT

SHADOW MINISTER FOR RESOURCES AND NORTHERN

AUSTRALIA

MEMBER FOR BLAXLAND

CATHY O'TOOLE

MEMBER FOR HERBERT

LABOR TO SUPPORT THE EXPANSION OF TOWNSVILLE’S DEFENCE

MAINTENANCE INDUSTRY

A Federal Shorten Labor Government would look to increase the presence of the

Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Amphibious Assault Ships (otherwise known as

No publication date: received by the Parl Library 05/09/2018

LHD vessels) at the Port of Townsville, creating new jobs and further diversifying

North Queensland’s economy.

Enabling an increase in the activity of LHD vessels at the Port of Townsville would

support real local economic development for Townsville by helping to grow the

local defence maintenance industry.

The regular docking of LHD vessels at the Port of Townsville would allow for a

continuous program of maintenance work and would be expected to support

between 200 and 400 new ongoing local jobs.

It would also facilitate important exercise activities, including most critically those

related to the joint amphibious capability of the ADF.

Federal Labor commends the detailed work undertaken by the Townsville City

Council, Port of Townsville and Townsville Enterprise to secure a greater presence

of LHD vessels and support future Defence needs while also generating

development for the local region. A Shorten Labor Government will continue to

engage with these organisations into the future.

With a number of major new naval platforms coming on line over the next decade,

existing porting arrangements are coming under pressure and will be increasingly

unsustainable in meeting all of our force posture requirements - as recognised in

the Government’s own 2016 Defence White Paper.

Labor recognises the future need to balance porting arrangements through

providing supplementary options in logical locations to take pressure off permanent

bases such as those in Sydney.

Townsville could be a major beneficiary in meeting these requirements, and is a

No publication date: received by the Parl Library 05/09/2018

logical location as a supplementary port for the LHDs, given it is home to the

Army’s multi-role and rapid response 3 Brigade and the amphibious light infantry

battalion, 2RAR.

Townsville is also uniquely placed to support forward ADF operations in the region,

including humanitarian assistance and bilateral and multilateral activities with our

regional partners.

Today’s announcement comes off the back of Labor’s $75 million commitment to

the Port of Townsville expansion - a project that will create at least 120 jobs during

construction and 245 ongoing jobs. Widening the channel will set up the Port of

Townsville to attract more shipping traffic - increasing import and export

opportunities and delivering a $580 million economic dividend.

This new initiative for Townsville is part of Labor’s plan for real jobs in regional

Queensland.

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT - 02 6277 4053

No publication date: received by the Parl Library 05/09/2018