Defence White Paper delivers almost $1 billion to Wagga

WAGGA Wagga is set to benefit from a $960 million investment at the Army Recruitment Training Centre at Kapooka and RAAF Base Wagga thanks to today’s announcement from the Turnbull Coalition Government.

Riverina MP and newly-appointed Assistant Defence Minister, Michael McCormack, today participated in the release of the 2016 Defence White Paper announced alongside the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Defence Marise Payne.

The Government has announced it will increase Defence spending by $29.9 billion over the next decade to deliver the strategies and plans set out in the 2016 White Paper.

“Today’s announcement will deliver unparalleled outcomes and job opportunities for regional Australia and strengthen our nation’s Defence capabilities to meet the challenges of the future,” Mr McCormack said.

“As the only inland city with all three arms of the Australian Defence Force, I am delighted to see the key role Wagga Wagga and our region plays in the nation’s Defence programmes reflected with this significant local investment.”

The White Paper’s Integrated Investment Program will deliver substantial benefits for the Riverina, including more than $400 million investment in Army Recruitment Training Centre (Blamey Barracks) at Kapooka and upgrades to Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Wagga at an additional $400 million over the decade to 2025-26.

In the decade to 2035-36, an additional $40 million will be invested at RAAF Wagga and approximately $120 million at Kapooka.

“This announcement delivers upon what many Riverina locals already know – that Defence is a major employer in Riverina with about 2200 Defence personnel currently based here, which has significant flow-on effects for the local economy,’’ Mr McCormack said.

“The permanent ADF recruitment will also grow from around 57,500 today to 62,400 over the next decade, returning the permanent force to its largest size since 1993.”

“All Australians can be confident the Government will continue to deliver on its most important task – defending our nation and protecting and promoting our national interests and that our region will – rightfully – play a key role in that endeavour.’’

The 2016 Defence White Paper, Integrated Investment Program and Defence Industry Policy Statement are available at

Cristy Houghton