The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has awarded a contract to CPB Contractors for the delivery of the first phase of works for a new defence training area.

The training area will be located near Greenvale, North Queensland, and is expected to generate employment and aid the recovery of the region from the Covid-19 pandemic.

It will be constructed under the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative (ASMTI) to provide advanced military training areas in the region, and also meet the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) future needs.

After the completion of the development phase of the A$23.5m contract, the company will be involved in the delivery of the A$800m facilities under the ASMTI.

Construction is expected to start by mid-2022.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said: “These advanced training areas being delivered under the ASMTI will benefit the ADF and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), while enhancing our bilateral relationship and providing significant local economic opportunities for North Queensland.”

“When this initiative reaches maturity, up to 14,000 SAF personnel will conduct training in central and north Queensland for up to 18 weeks a year for 25 years, which will provide enduring economic benefits to the region.

“This initiative will be key to bolstering growth and supporting local jobs in north Queensland as the economy continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Additional early works packages will include fencing and signage, contamination remediation, and firebreak construction.

The value of the packages will range from A$50,000 to A$4m and is expected to be delivered between this year and 2022.