Rockhampton has a long history of working with defence forces with more than 70,000 American Military personnel calling Central Queensland home from 1942 to 1944.

Australian and international military personnel have been visiting Rockhampton and has been home to regular training exercises at Shoalwater Bay since its establishment in 1965.

The Shoalwater Bay Training Area is located just 70 kilometres north of Rockhampton and is 4,000km2 making it the Australian Defence Forces' (ADF) largest permanent training area with superior road and air infrastructure in the city connecting troops and equipment to the base and the Port of Gladstone and Port Alma only one hour away.

The area’s scale and coastal location allow joint and combined services (Army, Navy & Airforce) exercises including Exercise Talisman Sabre since 2005.

For over 30 years, the Singaporean Defence Forces have trained at Shoalwater Bay, establishing Exercise Wallaby hosting thousands of soldiers each year. The Singaporean Armed Forces have an established presence within the region for equipment storage and maintenance.

As a large mining services hub we already have an established large equipment industry base capable of servicing the defence industry and the soon to be completed aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at the Rockhampton airport.

The region is currently experiencing an expansion called the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative which will identify our region as one of the best military training facilities in the world. See:

As the gateway to Northern Australia we are logistically well positioned and well serviced by road, rail, air and sea and as a region with great liveability options established and planned for the future, the Rockhampton Region and Central Queensland is the logical and most viable location to establish and grow a permanent military presence to shape, deter and respond to future threats.

For more information about Rockhampton’s defence strategy, download the Central Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils submission(PDF, 13MB) or contact the region’s lead Economic Development Agency, Advance Rockhampton directly. 

CQROC Submission(PDF, 13MB)