The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has announced plans to expand the Shoalwater Bay Training Area to support the military training initiative between Australia and Singapore.

The DoD also seeks to develop an alternative site in either Greenvale, Ravenswood or Pentland near Townsville in support of the initiative.

The expansion plans have been made in consultation with the local community, businesses, representative groups and landholders.

“Construction at both locations will be carried out simultaneously, starting in 2019.”

According to initial assessments, a training area near Greenvale would better meet the current and future requirements of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Singapore Armed Forces.

The sites near Ravenswood and Pentland will be considered if Greenvale is not a feasible option.

The department will also begin detailed construction design work for facilities and infrastructure.

Construction at both locations will be carried out simultaneously, starting in 2019.

The delivery of enhanced training areas in Central and North Queensland will benefit the ADF’s training capacity, as well as Australia’s bilateral defence relationship with Singapore.

It forms a part of the government’s commitment to creating strong and enduring economic opportunities for local communities and businesses.

Improvements to training areas are also expected to create jobs.

Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative programme manager brigadier Tim Bayliss said that the initiative will provide Australian troops with better training opportunities and strengthen the relationship with Singapore.