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Sitzler, a company based in the Northern Territory of Australia, has won a A$22m ($15m) contract for upgrading range facilities at four defence training areas.

The company is the managing contractor for the development phase of the A$514m ($347.5m) Northern Territory Training Areas and Ranges Project.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said that the announcement of the contract was a milestone for the United States Force Posture Initiatives.

She said: “Our Northern Territory training areas and ranges are essential for supporting the joint training needs of the Australian Defence Force and our United States partners.

“This reinvestment is part of the government’s commitment to the Northern Territory made under the 2015 Developing Northern Australia White Paper and the 2016 Defence White Paper.

“Just two years after the pilot programme for the Liberal and National Government’s Local Industry Capability Plan was announced, we are seeing this policy in action.”

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As part of the contract, Sitzler will manage the design and development of upgrades to facilities and infrastructure at the Defence training areas at Robertson Barracks, Kangaroo Flats, Mount Bundey and Bradshaw.

A Local Industry Capability Plan provided by Sitzler under the Australian Government’s Defence Policy for Industry Participation targets 98% of construction sub-contract packages to be awarded to businesses within the Northern Territory.

Northern Territory Senator Dr Sam McMahon said that this was another example of defence investment providing opportunities for local businesses.

She said: “Since its establishment in Darwin in 1976, Sitzler Pty Ltd is now one of the largest privately owned and operated construction companies in Northern Australia.

“This $22 million contract being awarded to a local company demonstrates this government’s commitment to providing opportunities to businesses in the Northern Territory.”

Over the next three to four months, around A$14m ($9.4m) in design sub-consultants will be engaged to take forward the designs for subsequent approvals from the government and parliament.

Subject to government and parliamentary approvals, construction is set to begin in 2021 with completion expected by 2025.