Hawaii trip to chase defence contracts

TINDAL WORK: More than half a billion dollars is being spent upgrading the Tindal RAAF Base. Picture: Defence Media.
TINDAL WORK: More than half a billion dollars is being spent upgrading the Tindal RAAF Base. Picture: Defence Media.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner will meet with senior US Military and Policy leaders when he heads a delegation to Hawaii to fight for Territory businesses to get their fair share of the $20 billion Defence will spend on construction projects.

The four-person delegation, which left yesterday, will build on the relationship between the NT and US, discuss opportunities for ongoing collaboration and position Territory businesses to benefit from this investment.

The US Pacific Command (USPACOM) is headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The delegation includes Defence Advocate Air Vice Marshal Margaret Staib and General Manager of Northern Australia Development and Trade, Luke Bowen.

“The Government promised to fight for local businesses and create jobs. We know the Australian Defence Force and US Marines will play a significant role in terms of investment and job creation in the NT, with $20 billion earmarked in construction projects over the next 20 years,” Mr Gunner said.

“The Territory has a strong construction industry with the capacity and capability to deliver projects and supply goods and services that meet the needs of the Australian and US Defence forces.

“We have listened to the construction industry and we know the best way to give our local businesses a shot at winning defence contracts is to make sure Government is at the table selling their capabilities – this is how we will see thousands of jobs created here over the next 20 years.”

“I will meet with senior officials in US Defence and making sure there is ongoing dialog with their decision-makers and leaders.”

Mr Gunner will also attend a ceremony to mark the Anniversary of Armistice Day and to build relationships with United States Military leaders.

Earlier this year the Government appointed the NT’s very first Defence Advocate to better position the Territory to capitalise on Defence projects.

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