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Visit to Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan construction site: speech, Townsville.

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THE HON. GREG COMBET MP Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science

Friday, 28 August 2009


Bohle Plains, Townsville

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SPEAKER: The Hon Greg Combet MP Thank you for coming along to the suburb of Bohle Plains, where Nation Building activity is making a real difference for the local community. As you can see construction of Defence houses in this estate is progressing very well and we are on track to provide this suburb with an extra 27 dwellings, 13 of which have already been completed.

The houses around us are all part of the Nation Building -Economic Stimulus Plan. In Townsville, under this Plan the Australian Government has committed $31.8 million to build 118 homes over the next two years.

Defence Housing Australia and the local construction industry has responded very quickly to the Australian Government’s Plan to create jobs and provide an immediate economic boost to the local community.

The first contracts for these houses were signed at the end of March and construction was well underway by May. It is great to see that Defence Housing Australia and the local builders driving this project, have been able to deliver such a high quality product in such a short amount of time.

They have reacted very swiftly to the call for more Defence Housing here in Townsville, so critical for our personnel and their families, those moving to this area and into these new, modern homes will be very pleased.

It is extraordinary to think that the first contracts were signed here only 6 months ago and that 26 houses have already been completed in Townsville in that time. Defence families are now preparing to move into these over the next few weeks.

This is evidence of the Government’s commitment to having an immediate impact in local communities and industries including building and construction.

In Townsville these houses are being constructed by Prospero Homes and local companies Daryl Bogotto Constructions Pty Ltd, Ron Jones The Builder and Peter Breen Constructions.

The increase in building activity not only assists these local building companies but also local suppliers, sub-contractors and workers to ensure that this comprehensive construction program is completed on time.

In addition, Defence Housing Australia has created 20 new apprenticeship jobs nationwide, providing 50 per cent of the salary for each apprentice for the full four years of their apprenticeship.

Four apprenticeship places have been created here in Townsville. These apprentices started work in July and have been working on DHA and NB-ESP construction sites. Positions have also been created in Darwin, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra.

The houses being funded by Nation Building - Economic Stimulus Plan are in addition to Defence Housing Australia’s existing construction program. In total, DHA will build 393 homes in Townsville by June 2011.

Defence Housing Australia plays a critical role in supporting our Australian Defence Force members by providing quality housing. It is very important that our Defence personnel can be operationally deployed with ‘peace of mind’ that their families are being looked after and are safe and comfortable in their homes.

Please note Defence Media has a new phone number: 02 6127 1999.

The existing number will be automatically diverted to the new number for three months. The existing after-hours duty mobile 0408 498 664 will remain.

Media contacts: Rod Hilton (Greg Combet): 02 6277 4771 or 0458 276 619 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664