New Inquiry into the impact of Defence training activities and facilities on rural and regional communities

South Australian Senator Alex Gallacher has today received the support needed to conduct a Senate inquiry into the impact of Defence training activities and facilities on rural and regional communities.

The inquiry will take place in the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee of which Senator Gallacher is chair.

Exercise Hamel is a major Army exercise designed to evaluate the war fighting skills of a Brigade. Last year, this particular exercise took place around Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie in the Cultana Training Base.  It was one of the largest military exercises South Australia has ever seen.

A roundtable discussion was held with Upper Spencer Gulf Mayors – Lyn Breuer of Whyalla, Sam Johnson of Port Augusta, and John Rohde of Port Pirie, regarding the impact Defence training activities had and potentially could have on rural and regional communities. There is a strong belief greater involvement of local business could be achieved, as well as better engagement with council regarding the impact on local infrastructure.

This was later reinforced after further meetings with the Whyalla Chamber of Commerce and Regional Development Australia (RDA) officers.

“It is clear local communities fully support having Defence personnel in their community. With the presence of Defence in the community during Exercise Hamel, local business and communities have seen some benefits” stated Senator Gallacher.

“Local business simply wants an opportunity to tender. They have the ability to provide goods and services to Defence at a competitive price. This is a nation-wide issue for local communities wanting to maximise the relationship between Defence and their local communities.” Senator Gallacher said.

Senator Gallacher with the support of the committee intends to conduct hearings in Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie.

Please see attachment for the committee terms of references.

 

WEDNESDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2017

MEDIA CONTACT: MATTHEW MAROZZI (02) 6277 3450 or 0423 235 911

Matthew Marozzi

Electorate Officer | Office of Senator Alex Gallacher

Labor Senator for South Australia

265 Churchill Rd PROSPECT SA 5082

T: (08) 8269 6022 M: 0423235911  F: (08) 8269 6044  E: matthew.marozzi@aph.gov.au

Terms of reference

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