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The Government of Australia is set to upgrade Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC) in Bungendore, a major base for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Upgrade works will help to expand the capacity of the facility and accommodate additional personnel required for operations in Australia and abroad.

The government has already committed more than A$31m ($21.49m) in the first tranche of this two-stage project.

Australian Minister of Defence Linda Reynolds said: “HQJOC is not only key for the defence of Australia, but also the protection of our borders in these challenging geostrategic times.

“We have seen the vital role HQJOC played in the Australian Government’s response to the Black Summer bushfires and Covid-19. This investment will improve the facility’s capacity to support the Australian Defence Force’s response to domestic and international crises.

“When the expansion is complete, HQJOC will house up to 1,400 personnel, doubling its capacity from when it was originally built in 2008, to cater for increasingly complex multi-domain operations including cyber and space.”

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By GlobalData

Upgrade works are scheduled to begin next month. In the first stage, the scope of works will include the delivery of a 1.9MW solar farm, security accreditation works, enhancing the car park and other site preparation works.

The second stage of upgrade is slated to commence in 2022.

The project is also expected to create jobs and support the local industry as the Australian economy is working to recover from the impact of Covid-19.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “This first tranche of works extends out to mid-2022 and will provide a valuable opportunity for small businesses in Bungendore and Queanbeyan.

“The project will support construction jobs and ensure economic benefits flow to a region that has seen its share of recent challenges.

“Up to 130 workers will be employed during the peak of construction.”