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Upgrades for RAAF Bases Richmond, Amberley and Pearce

written by Charbel Kadib | April 22, 2022

The NSW Rural Fire Service’s newly acquired Bell 412 helicopter is unloaded from a RAAF C-17A Globemaster III at RAAF Base Richmond. (Corporal Dan Pinhorn/ DOD)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has committed $428 million to upgrade RAAF Bases Richmond, Amberley and Pearce.

The investment, which will also go towards HMAS Albatross in NSW, is tipped to generate approximately 600 jobs when work begins later this year and will be completed by 2024.

The refurbishments will include resurfacing asphalt, replacing concrete and swapping outdated lighting equipment and infrastructure.

“Our $270 billion defence investment is keeping Australians safe, building our sovereign defence capabilities and creating jobs while securing a strong economy and a stronger future,” Prime Minister Morrison said.

“In these uncertain times, it’s vital that we take steps to invest in our defence force and ensure our ADF have the best technology and facilities, so that Australians are protected.”

Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said the works would ensure the ADF can effectively execute military operations in support of Australia’s national interests.

“Upgrades to these airfields will ensure that the men and women of the ADF can continue to provide the operational capability needed to keep our nation safe, whether that be Super Hornets and Growlers at Amberley, C-130 Hercules at Richmond, our pilot training at Pearce, or our Romeo Helicopters at Nowra.”

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Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price noted the benefits of the air base upgrades for the local industry.

“We are ensuring that local industry is prioritised and local tradies have the opportunity to work on this significant Defence investment,” she said.

“Small and medium businesses are key to supporting the local economy and over 1,000 small and medium businesses have been engaged on Defence capital infrastructure and facilities projects since 2019.”

RAAF Base Richmond is based in NSW; Amberley in Queensland, and Pearce in WA.

This latest announcement comes just a day after Boeing Defence Australia was selected to lead a new $103 million Advanced Defence Aerospace Manufacturing Network.

The project – partly supported by $34 million in funding via the Collaboration Stream of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative – aims to incentivise local SMEs to manufacture, export and support the development of complete crewed and uncrewed defence aircraft.

Boeing’s partners are expected to include Ferra Engineering, HeliMods, Naeco, RUAG Australia, Cablex, AME Systems and JRS Manufacturing Group.

The initiative is tipped to generate approximately 400 new local jobs in Brisbane and Melbourne, and more than 1,500 jobs across the country by 2024.

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