Rockhampton Airport Singapore Military Jet

Through ongoing awareness, negotiations and discussion, the Rockhampton Regional Council has worked with Defence to open opportunities for small to medium businesses in the region to provide supplies and services.

The Council will be working assiduously to ensure opportunities are identified, infrastructure investment is correctly aligned, and support provided to small and medium size enterprises that can add value to the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA), to not only strengthen business in our region, but also be a hub for more employment and skill development.

Rockhampton Airport Air Force Dogs and Tank


Until recently, most products and services were procured from Brisbane and Townsville, however this has now been opened to local business, and will be supported by both Council and Defence in order to get better value for money for the SWBTA and also support local business expansion.

The Rockhampton region and the wider Central Queensland economy has the capacity to replace Townsville as the largest regional supplier source, while also offering good value for money outcomes.

Rockhampton Airport Military Helicopters


The Rockhampton region greatly benefits already from significant local procurement associated with activities at the SWBTA. As activity increases, the Rockhampton region is seeking to be formalised as the Procurement Hub for the SAF under the new Australia-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreement.

Australia-Singapore military training initiative (ASMTI)

The ASMTI is an opportunity for Australia to build Defence capability through enhancing and improving training capacity whilst providing strong and enduring economic benefits to Central and North Queensland. Click here for further details. 

The Central Queensland region is set to benefit following the announcement that Laing O'Rourke had secured the Managing Contractor for ASMTI SWBTA Facilities Project.  The Central Queensland region will see a significant injection into the regional economy with Laing O'Rourke committed to sourcing 80% of its total contract value locally.  Assistant Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon David Farcett said 'this announcement is a win for Rockhampton and the Shoalwater Bay region.  Injecting up to $660million into the regional economy over a five-year period, the project will delivery enhanced military training areas to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) while fostering Australia's close relationship with the Singaporean Armed Forces".  Laing O'Rourke has developed an extensive Local Industry Capability Plan to ensure local businesses can take advantage of the opportunities arising from this project.  Laing O'Rourke will establish a local presence in Rockhampton and has commenced design work.  The construction work will commence by the end of 2019 and create local jobs and investment, and support local industry near the SWBTA.  (Ref: Department of Defence Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 4, Oct 2018).

Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19)

The Talisman Sabre (TS) exercises are a bilateral activity involving Australia and the United States. Additional countries may also be invited to participate however this varies between iterations of the TS series. TS19 will include forces from the New Zealand, Canadian, United Kingdom and Japanese Defence Forces.  The TS19 exercise will be conducted over 11 - 24 July 2019. There will be military convoys and maritime traffic before and after these dates.  TS19 will be conducted generally between the localities of Townsville and Rockhampton in addition to the Coral Sea and parts of the Great Barrier Reef. It is anticipated the majority of land-based activities will occur on Shoalwater Bay Training Area however a number of non-defence training areas will be used.

The TS series of exercises are conducted on a biennial basis and is designed to train our respective military forces in planning and conducting combined task force operations to improve the combat readiness and interoperability between our respective forces.  TS19 will involve up to 25,000 personnel operating across the maritime, land and air domains inclusive of the exercise participants and exercise control and logistics functions.   

The last Open Day held at the Showgrounds in 2017 was a massive success with thousands of people coming through the gates to meet US, Australian and New Zealand troops and check out the latest ADF rotary winged aircraft.  The TS19 Open Day will be held on Saturday 6 July 2019 at the Rockhampton Showgrounds, and include displays of Australian and US helicopters, armoured vehicles and specialist military personnel. A VIP event with media will occur in the morning to officially commence the event.

To stay up to date with the latest, make sure you head along to the Department of Defence’s website they’ve set up for the 2019 event with more updates to be posted in the coming months.