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New era opens for RAAF Williamtown.



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Media Release

Bob Baldwin MP

Federal Member for Paterson

5 March 2004

NEW ERA OPENS FOR RAAF WILLIAMTOWN

The Federal Member for Paterson, Bob Baldwin, said today’s official opening of the new headquarters for the $3.27 billion Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) Wedgetail aircraft at RAAF Williamtown, heralded a new era for defence in the region.

“The employment and investment into the local area from the AEW&C project, will mean an enormous boost for the local economy and secures RAAF Williamtown’s importance to Australia’s defence strategy,” Mr Baldwin said.

“The base itself already has a population of 3000 uniformed personnel and 500 defence civilians and makes a contribution of around $170 million to the local economy each year.

“The AEW&C program together with the No.2 Squadron (who are operating the unit for the new AEW&C capability), defence support units and Australian industry partners will create additional work for around 400 people and inject approximately $20 million more into the region.

“No.2 Squadron will prepare aircrew, technicians and support infrastructure in readiness for the aircraft’s arrival in 2007. The squadron has 38 staff including crew, maintenance technicians, administrative and logistics staff. More personnel will join the squadron each year to undertake training and assist with the introduction of the aircraft.”

The headquarters opening is the first stage of the $149 million redevelopment of the RAAF Base, which created around 255 jobs during construction.