Townsville defence bases’ $35 million of upgrades announced as hundreds of troops move north

Townsville defence bases’ $35 million of upgrades announced as hundreds of troops move north
  • PublishedJanuary 23, 2024

The North Queensland city is already home to more than 4,500 Australian Defence Force personnel, but from 2025 another 500 will be moved to Townsville as part of a major defence restructure announced in September.

A strategic review of defence last year identified a need to improve the ability of Australia’s northern bases.

As the defence restructure positions Townsville as the new capital of the Australian Army, the federal government said both Lavarack Barracks and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Townsville needed modern, fit-for-purpose facilities and infrastructure to support critical capabilities.

“The Albanese government is committed to ensuring we deliver the necessary upgrades to Australia’s network of northern bases which is critical to the capacity of our defence force to keep Australians safe,” Assistant Defence Minister Matt Thistlethwaite said.

Construction underway

Army personnel pack bags and weapons in an aircraft hangar
Townsville is already home to more than 4,500 personnel with 500 more moving to the city from next year.(ABC North Qld: Lily Nothling)

RAAF Base Townsville will receive $16 million on refurbishments to Hangar 75 which houses critical air capabilities.

The government said the $16 million would be in addition to the $700 million that would be invested in the RAAF base to support the army’s new AH-64E Apache helicopters which will be based in Townsville from 2025.

The $19 million for Lavarack Barracks will go towards a new military working dog facility, training yard, dog obstacle course, messing facilities, and other “critical capability infrastructure”.

The government said construction at the two bases had already begun.


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