THERE are significant opportunities available for Pearce businesses to secure millions of dollars in defence upgrades in coming years, according to Pearce MHR Christian Porter.
Mr Porter said in 2018-19, work would continue or start on a range of projects worth $91.3 million at Pearce air base in Bullsbrook.
The Department of Defence will be given $57.1m for the maritime patrol aircraft replacement facilities project, which will provide new and upgraded facilities and infrastructure to support the introduction of the P-8A aircraft around the country, including at Pearce air base.
The air base has also been allocated $12.6m for the airfield capital works project, which will upgrade aircraft pavement and aeronautical ground lighting.
For the air traffic control complex infrastructure and fixed base defence air traffic management and control system project, which is upgrading air traffic management supporting infrastructure the expected expenditure at the Bullsbrook air base is $10.2m in 2018-19, in addition to the $17.1m invested there to date.
Pearce air base has been allocated expenditure of $7.4m for the pilot training system facilities project, which is providing fit-for-purpose facilities to support the modern joint training aircraft system at bases across the country.
The project is scheduled for completion in late 2020 – $74.8m has already been spent at the Pearce air base.
Four million dollars is expected to be spent at Pearce on the joint health command garrison facilities upgrade project to enable increased efficiency of health service delivery to members of the Australian Defence Force.
Mr Porter said the 2018-19 Federal Budget confirmed the Turnbull Government was committed to keeping the nation safe and secure and would grow defence spending to two per cent of GDP by 2020-21.
Both Mr Porter, who is also the federal Attorney-General, and Defence Minister Marise Payne have welcomed the investment the department will make at Pearce air base.
Senator Payne said Pearce was home to more than 500 defence personnel, about 100 Defence Housing Australia properties and a number of other defence establishments, including Gingin air base and the Bindoon, Lancelin and Northam training areas.
“Pearce is vitally important to the Australian Defence Force and the Liberal Government is continuing to invest strongly in capability, personnel and facilities in the region as a key outcome of our 2016 Defence White Paper and $200 billion investment in defence capability,” she said.
“Further, our local industry capability plan program is ensuring that local businesses and trades in Pearce and surrounding regions have the best opportunity possible to secure work on important defence facilities projects in Pearce.
“Of the 185 infrastructure sub-contracts let in Western Australia on current defence infrastructure projects, 88 per cent have gone to local industry.”