The State Government is calling on the Federal Government to support the South Australian construction industry and business community during its facilities upgrade at RAAF Base Edinburgh, worth up to $350 million.
Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith said Defence personnel are an important part of our community. South Australia is home to nearly 7500 Defence personnel and their families. Senator Fawcett recently confirmed that this year alone Defence has invested over $1.7 billion is support of personnel, costs, equipment, services and facilities in South Australia. We are keen to see this figure grow, and opportunities flow to local businesses.
“I welcome the significant investment in infrastructure to facilitate Air Force’s new Boeing Maritime Patrol aircraft fleet’s arrival at RAAF Base Edinburgh,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“An infrastructure project of this size is just what the beleaguered South Australian construction industry needs and would provide private contractors with a significant economic boost.
“The managing contractor tender for these capital works has closed. The Federal Government now has an opportunity to ensure local industry participation in this.”
Construction of the new or refurbished facilities is expected to begin in September and be completed in 2019. The types of facilities to be developed include administration, operations, simulation and training facilities, aircraft maintenance hangars, workshops to conduct operational level aircraft maintenance, aircraft pavements, aircraft rinse facilities and associated engineering services.
Chief Executive Officer of the Civil Contractors Federation Phil Sutherland said that an infrastructure project of scale is required in South Australia to reinvigorate the economy and address the growing jobless rate.
“The RAAF Edinburgh precinct upgrade fits the bill,” Mr Sutherland said.
“Public investment in infrastructure is a proven nation building and job creation mechanism that stimulates the economy well beyond the project. Economists tell us that for every dollar invested in public infrastructure the community receives an up to ten-fold return.
“Federal Government support of this project would result in much needed work for the civil construction industry in South Australia which is on its knees,” Mr Sutherland said.
Mr Hamilton-Smith said “Defence SA is putting renewed effort into advocating for maximum local job participation in all future Defence contracts. It is essential that Defence’s continued expansion in South Australia results in more jobs opportunities for the local community.”