Strategy aims to secure region’s position as Defence hub

Date published: 28 July 2020

A new 10-year strategy launched today aims to ensure Townsville and North Queensland remains one of Australia’s key Defence locations for decades to come.

Townsville City Council today adopted the Townsville North Queensland Defence Strategy 2020-2030.

“For the first time the region has a well-structured unified strategy to guide logical and meaningful engagement around Defence investment in North Queensland,” Mayor Jenny Hill said.

“This strategy will allow Council to influence high pay-off opportunities to deliver mutually beneficial outcomes for our city through defence investment.

“It represents the considered work of our Defence committee partners including the Port of Townsville, Townsville Enterprise, the Townsville Airport in consultation with our strategic Defence advisor, Lieutenant General (Retired) John Caligari.”

Lt Gen Caligari said Townsville was an important location for Australia’s defence and national security.

“The strategy endorsed by Council today ensures our city is aligned with, supportive of, and benefits from the efforts of all levels of government to enhance national security,” Lt Gen Caligari said.

The Australian Government has stated its intent to deliver a ‘secure nearer region encompassing South East Australia and the South Pacific’.

“We already have significant Australian Defence Force (ADF) representation in the area, an extensive industry network, an established ready workforce and a demonstrated capacity for growth and innovation,” Cr Hill said.

“These are factors that the ADF can exploit as a home base for Defence Forces and capabilities, as a Forward Mounting Base for major operations and as a premier force generational environment.

“Through this strategy, we are demonstrating that our community is advocating for and welcoming this on account of the mutual benefit our community will derive through increased economic prosperity.”

Cr Hill said Townsville and North Queensland was already benefitting from planned infrastructure projects that would increase both regional Defence capabilities and make the case for additional Defence capability investment.

These projects include the extension of the runway at RAAF Base Townsville, the expansion of the Port of Townsville, the Defence Supply Chain and Manufacturing Hub, and new Defence infrastructure associated with the Australian Singapore Military Training Initiative (ASMTI).

“Our vision is to be a preferred location for Armed Forces training globally, an ADF home base of choice and Defence’s Joint Forward Mounting Base will be pursued through five key strategic goals,” Cr Hill said.

The five strategic goals are:

  • Position and promote the Townsville Region as a strategic location for Defence capability and as a posting preference for Australian Defence Force personnel and families;
  • Cultivate a capable and responsive local Defence industry aligned to Sovereign Industrial Capability priorities and future Defence capability programs;
  • Support and enable opportunities for local industry to access regional, national and global Defence supply chains;
  • Encourage collaboration between Defence, Defence Industry, Government and Academia, focusing on research development and innovation; and
  • Develop strategic infrastructure that supports the ongoing and future needs of Defence, the local industry and the community.

“Council will continue to work with a wide variety of stakeholders to meet these goals for the mutual benefit of the ADF and the Townsville and North Queensland community,” she said.

For more information, head to Townsville North Queensland Defence Strategy.