Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill has welcomed the announcement that the city is the preferred location for the Singaporean Army detachment as part of the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative (ASMTI).
The Department of Defence will develop a detailed business case for the development of the storage and maintenance facility through regional consultation and engagement with industry and the local community.
The outcomes of the business case are expected in 2022.
Mayor Hill said having the detachment in Townsville would be a boon for the city and region.
“We are a proud garrison city and having the Singaporean detachment based here will further enhance the reputation of our region internationally,” she said.
“It will also strongly contribute to our region’s economy, with Singapore expected to inject around $1 billion into the Townsville region over the next 25 years.
“This means more jobs for locals and opportunities for local businesses to become suppliers to the Singaporean armed forced.
“Council will now work with the Department of Defence on its business case, showcasing everything our city and region has to offer.”
When the ASMTI reaches maturity, up to 14,000 Singapore Armed Forces personnel will conduct training in North and Central Queensland over 18 weeks each year over 25 years.
A new defence forces training area is being developed at Greenvale, about 250 kilometres north-west of Townsville.
“In addition to the direct investment ASMTI will deliver to North Queensland, we have the ability to create networks with the Singaporeans that may lead to other opportunities,” Mayor Hill said.
“Many high-ranking business leaders in Singapore are also involved in their army reserves.
“Having them in Townsville and North Queensland gives us an opportunity to showcase everything we offer.”