Details and photos of the much anticipated $747m army base expansion planned for the Northern Territory have been released to the public.
The new development will help support “increased use by the Australian Defence Force and United States” to house and train troops on Aussie land.
The project, which spans four locations over 580km across the top end, comes in the wake of increasing global tensions between Australia, the US and China.
Last month, one of Australia’s top national security officials, Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo, warned the “drums of war” were beating amid growing tensions on the global stage.
Northern Australia is an essential area for Australia-US military efforts, given its proximity to the increasingly contested Asia-Pacific region.
The four new military sites will be located at Robertson Barracks, Kangaroo Flats, Mount Bundey and Bradshaw Field.
The bases are intended to improve the ADF’s access to suitable military training areas and weapons ranges and to increase co-operation between Australian and US military forces through combined military training and exercises.
The bases will contain weapons ranges, military aircraft facilitates and urban operations facilities to simulate real-life war scenarios.
Approximately 2,200 US marines have arrived in Darwin since the start of the year to participate in the Marine Rotational Force program.
Through the program, US marines work alongside the ADF to complete military training activities, including security operations and live-fire exercises.
But Territorian locals who live around the planned military bases have expressed concerns about the project.
During community consultations conducted by the Department of Defence, a number of residents highlighted noise concerns over heavy-duty military aircraft and weapons being used in the area.
Other residents questioned what benefit military personnel from the US would actually contribute to the local area.
With $747m of taxpayers’ dollars on the table and the future profile of Australia’s military presence up in the air, every aspect of the project will need to be examined before construction can commence.
The full details and images of the project can be viewed on the Australian parliament website.