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Defence Infrastructure Division

Moorebank Units Relocations (MUR) Project

Frequently Asked Questions


What activities does Defence undertake at the School of Military Engineering and other Defence units located at Moorebank?

This site is a key centre for Defence training, logistics and frontline support capabilities. These activities include bomb detection, intelligence gathering, engineering and other critical training and skills programs to assist troops in the field.

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What does the Moorebank Units Relocation project involve?

The Moorebank Unit Relocation (MUR) Project is part of a Liverpool Military Area Defence infrastructure restructure and renewal program. The MUR Project will involve the relocation of 13 Defence Units and four Defence facilities, including the School of Military Engineering (SME) to Defence-owned land at Holsworthy Barracks. MUR is managed by the Defence Infrastructure Division.

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What are the benefits of the MUR project?

 It has a number of important benefits including:

  • Major new purpose-built facilities for Defence personnel at Holsworthy, including construction of new barracks, new troop facilities including a new mess and physical fitness complex.
  • A new signalised entrance to Holsworthy located away from the station precinct, replacing the existing traffic bottleneck.
  • Operational efficiencies and synergies over time for Defence as a result of co-locating units.
  • Consolidation and strengthening of the long-term Defence presence in the Liverpool Military Area, ensuring it remains a major local employer.
  • More than 2,000 local jobs during the construction period, benefiting the local economy.

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 Is MUR good value for money?

 Yes, MUR is good value for money because:

  • Co-locating units drives better operational efficiencies through greater economies of scale.
  • Moorebank is an ageing site that would have required upgrades in future.
  • Upgrading Holsworthy means better facilities for our servicemen and women.

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Are there economic benefits to the community?

Yes, upgrading Holsworthy consolidates Defence’s presence in south west Sydney as a key local employer. During construction more than 2,000 jobs will be generated.

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What is the cost of the MUR Project?

The total cost of the MUR Project is $870 million.

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Is this project good value for money for taxpayers?

The project is consistent with the Department of Defence’s long-term progressive consolidation strategy that has sought to improve operational efficiencies through increased co-location of Defence units. The Moorebank site is ageing and would have required significant capital investment in the future. The MUR Project provides an opportunity for cost effective capability upgrades and consolidation of military capability and support elements in one location at Holsworthy.

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How do environmental requirements for projects on Commonwealth land compare with those on State or private land?

Defence has a comprehensive program of environmental impact assessment to ensure the effects of its activities on the environment are considered and managed. Where it is identified that some activity, work or new equipment may pose a real risk of potentially significant environmental impacts Defence requires that assessments are undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Regardless of the process used, any environmental issues identified are then managed to mitigate the potential for adverse impacts to occur.

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Has there been any consideration given to the preservation of heritage items in the area?

Yes. A detailed Heritage Impact Assessment has been prepared for the new works, which considers the importance of preserving heritage items in the vicinity of the sites. Items which have been identified as having heritage value have been accounted for, and will not be impacted by the works.

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Will the local environment, flora and fauna be adversely impacted by this project?

The Environment Impact Assessment prepared in 2009 for the MUR Project concluded that minimal impact would occur as a result of the works, and a referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 (Cwlth) will not be required. Targeted surveys have been conducted for the threatened species potentially present in the vicinity of the development. The proposed works will not have an adverse impact on the threatened species. Works are to be undertaken on existing brownfield sites, which have been in operation as army bases for decades. All works will be managed in accordance with the Defence Environmental Management Framework.

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 Will the community be consulted?

Yes, consistent with previous practice, Defence will ensure it consults with community stakeholders on the planned MUR Project.

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Will the move affect any residential land/civilian properties?

The move involves the relocation of units Commonwealth/Defence-owned land that lies between Moorebank Avenue and Georges River to Commonwealth/Defence-owned land at Holsworthy Barracks and has no implications for private property. The only works external to Defence land are proposed improvements to the entrance to Holsworthy on Heathcote Road to deal with existing congestion at the Macarthur Drive intersection.

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Will traffic impacts be considered as part of the process?

Yes. Traffic flow studies will be undertaken as part of the process, as will community consultation on traffic movements and other environmental issues. The MUR Project will deliver a new Barracks Entry at Heathcote Road, which will deliver significantly improved traffic conditions to Heathcote Road, particularly the intersection at Heathcote Road and Macarthur Drive, which currently experiences significant congestion in both the morning and afternoon peaks.

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Will air quality be considered as part of the feasibility and environmental assessment process?

Yes. The potential environmental impact of the projects including air, water, noise and light will be addressed through environmental and other studies to be undertaken. Community consultation on these and other issues is an integral part of the formal planning process.

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What do the Defence projects have to do with plans to build an IMT at Moorebank?

The relocation of Defence units from Moorebank will allow the development of the IMT on that site to proceed but also forms part of broader long-term efforts to consolidate Defence’s presence within the existing Holsworthy Army Barracks and maximise operational efficiencies.

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Will there be any loss of Defence jobs as a result of this project?

No. The project involves a relocation of units from Moorebank to Holsworthy, not a reduction in units or Defence personnel. There will be a slight increase in personnel at Holsworthy due to the co-location established with other units in the Sydney region.

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How are you proposing to provide information to local residents about the project?

The MUR Project website and dedicated email facility are available for any local residents who wish to know more about the Project.

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When will construction begin on the upgrade to Heathcote Road?

Work has already begun on the upgrade to Heathcote Road.

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When will construction to Heathcote Road conclude?

It is expected the construction works will be completed within six months, by September 2013.

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At what time will roadworks take place?

Works will be undertaken Monday to Friday from 7am-7pm, and Saturday from 7am-1pm. Night road works will take place intermittently, as required. It is expected two lanes will remain open to traffic for the duration of the works, and traffic flows will be monitored to minimise delays.

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Will speed limit reductions be in place?

Yes. During construction there will be speed reductions to 40km/h around the work site for the safety of both motorists and workers. These speed restrictions will apply while the construction site is in operation.

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How much of Heathcote Road is being upgraded?

A stretch of 600m is being upgraded between Macarthur Drive and the Avenue in Hammondville.

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Will the roadworks lead to increasing congestion?

These works have been designed to allow full traffic capability. Two lanes will remain open to traffic for the duration of the works, and traffic flows will be monitored to minimise delays.  The works are designed to alleviate the existing congestion.

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Where can I find out more about the upgrade to Heathcote Road?

If you have any questions about the upgrade to Heathcote Rd, please email the Project Team.