A $276 million facilities project to support the new B-vehicle fleet at Defence sites across Australia has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works.
The General Service B Vehicle fleet comprises a broad range of light and medium/heavy wheeled vehicles used by the ADF, consisting of approximately 9500 assets.
Most vehicles in the B-vehicle fleet are being progressively replaced – Land Rover variants are currently being phased out as the G-Wagon variants are introduced into service and the transition of the medium/heavy fleet-of-vehicles is anticipated to commence in 2018-19.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence Darren Chester said the LAND 121 Stage 2 Unit Sustainment Facilities Project would see the main works delivered in the Townsville and Brisbane regions, with minor works being delivered in Sydney, Puckapunyal, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin.
“This is a substantial investment in new facilities and equipment that will allow our world-class defence force to get on with ensuring we can continue to live in a safe and secure Australia,” Mr Chester said.
“Providing facilities to ensure the longevity of the incoming vehicle fleet will assist in supporting the training, preparedness and operational capability of our defence force.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance Michael McCormack said the investment was necessary for a modern defence force and would also provide economic benefits to local communities throughout construction.
“Subject to parliamentary approval, this project will bring an economic stimulus to multiple locations around Australia, and expected opportunities for local sub-contractors over the next three years,” Mr McCormack said.
“The project to support the new B-vehicle fleet will include maintenance workshops and associated repair part stores, weighbridges, loading and inspection ramps, wash points, vehicle chelters[sic] and associatined[sic] hardstandings,” said Mr McCormack.
If approved – and it’s highly unlikely to be disapproved – construction is scheduled to commence in early next and is planned to be completed by late 2019.