Spending on the upgrade of the Tindal RAAF Base is now close to $1 billion.
Previous estimates on the base upgrades in preparation for the arrival of Australia’s new fleet of Joint Strike Fighters were around half that.
And the work at Tindal will continue beyond the jets’ touch down to continue for at least another five years.
The Federal Government’s investment was outlined by Department of Defence deputy secretary Estate and Infrastructure Steve Grzeskowiak in Katherine this week.
Mr Grzeskowiak has been the lead Defence spokesman on the PFAS contamination of Katherine since it was discovered several years ago.
Defence this week released the final of a series of environmental reports
Speaking to the Katherine Times, Mr Grzeskowiak said Defence had no intention of retreating from the issue now the environment investigation was complete.
“”We are investing in the order of $1 billion in the Tindal base,” he said.
“It is one of the key jet fighter bases in Australia.
“We are committed to Tindal, to Katherine and to the PFAS issue,” he said.
“It’s not the end of our engagement here at Katherine.”
Base chief of 17 Squadron, Wing Commander Andrew Tatnell, was also at the Defence update in Katherine this week, his final public event before his rotation at Tindal ends on Saturday.
He said some of the infrastructure at the 30-year-old base needed replacement as well, aside from the upgrades needed for the JSF’s arrival in a few years.
Wing Commander said the number of personnel at the base, already more than 2000, would be increasing as well over the next few years.
Defence has also confirmed the first of Australia's Joint Strike Fighters are set to arrive at Williamtown RAAF Base, north of Newcastle, early next month.
More than 70 of the fighter jets will be shared between Williamtown and Tindal.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday at 6am from the Katherine Times. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.