Jobs boost from Cerberus upgrades

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WORK valued at $481 million to replace outdated infrastructure and facilities at HMAS Cerberus is likely to start this year.

The work was foreshadowed in a Defence White Paper in March. It will include “improved underground services”, technical and physical training facilities, survival-at-sea facilities, and refurbishment of dining and accommodation areas.

The funding is expected to secure the future of the base as Australia’s principal naval training base and pump money into the economies of Crib Point, Hastings and surrounding areas.

“When the base opened in 1920 it could not have been envisioned how much it would grow and expand,” Flinders MP Greg Hunt said.

“The existing facilities no longer meet current demands. The upgrades will ensure our defence capacity continues well into the future.”

Small- to medium-sized businesses on the peninsula could tender for contracts related to the redevelopment through tenders.gov.au, Mr Hunt said.

“Defence is a major employer in the electorate, with more than 2000 personnel based there who are providing significant benefits to the local economy.

“The primary training facility will be critical in building a potent maritime and submarine warfare capability.”

Hastings state MP Neale Burgess said the redevelopment was welcome news for the community. “[The base] needs to have world-class training facilities and I’m glad the Commonwealth government is injecting the necessary funds,” he said.

HMAS Cerberus Commanding Officer Captain Stephen Bowater said in March the funding would provide a significant boost to the base, allowing it to extend its capabilities and improve facilities for naval personnel.

The work will be completed by 2025.

First published in the Western Port News – 11 July 2017

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