Welcome to the Australia Singapore Military Training Initiative website. The initiative is an opportunity for Australia to build Defence capability through enhancing and improving training capacity whilst providing strong and enduring economic benefits to central and northern Queensland.
Defence has finalised its master planning activities for upgrades to the Shoalwater Bay and Townsville Field Training Areas…
February and March consultation sessions confirmed.
Equipping troops with the skills, knowledge and training they need to meet the challenges of the future is a priority for the Australian Defence Force. The 2016 Defence White Paper outlines that training areas are a key enabler in generating and sustaining Defence capability. This position is consistent with the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, released on 18 June 2015, which identified the Government’s commitment to strengthening Defence’s presence in northern Australia.
The Australia-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) provides a unique opportunity to uplift suitable training areas in central and northern Queensland through one of its five key elements: the Australia Singapore Military Training Initiative. This initiative provides increased access to Australian military training areas by the Singapore Armed Forces. Building on our existing defence cooperation, Singaporean military personnel will increase participation in training in Australia each year. This will bring us closer as defence partners and generate significant local economic activity in Queensland.
Any land acquisition or new facilities and infrastructure will be owned by the Australian Government, paid for by Singapore, and accessible for priority use by the Australian Defence Force.
On 6 May 2016, Australia and Singapore announced a new package of bilateral cooperation initiatives to advance the CSP that was first announced by the Prime Ministers of the two countries in a Joint Declaration on the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2015. These wide-ranging initiatives will continue to elevate Australia's partnership with Singapore, building on existing areas of cooperation while also driving new ones.
For further information on the CSP, please refer to the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
The Australia-Singapore CSP contains five defence and security-related elements. The first of these is known as the Australia Singapore Military Training Initiative and relates to increased access to, and joint development of, military training areas and facilities in Australia.
On 13 October 2016 the Minister for Defence, the Hon Marise Payne, and her counterpart Singapore Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen signed a Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Military Training And Training Area Development In Australia.
The Memorandum of Understanding delivers a framework to implement increased SAF unilateral training in Australia. It sets the conditions for upgrading the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and Townsville Field Training Area to deliver enhanced training outcomes for both the Singapore Armed Forces and the Australian Defence Force. Under the initiative, up to 14,000 SAF personnel will conduct unilateral training in Australia for up to 18 weeks per year – significantly increasing current personnel numbers.
The enhanced training access will be in effect for 25 years, with provisions made for Singapore's training presence to increase from 2017. It is expected that SAF personnel numbers and the military equipment brought to Australia will progressively increase as the new infrastructure and facilities are built. As this presence increases, opportunities for local businesses to provide support and services will expand. Up to AUD 2.25 billion will be invested in the Townsville and Rockhampton regions from 2016 to 2026.