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28 September, 2021

Calls for more international tenants at local army base

Member for Groom Garth Hamilton said the long term success of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) tenancy at Oakey’s Australian Army Aviation Training Centre has prompted him to call on Minister for Defence Peter Dutton to consider inviting more countries to consider taking up residence at the local base.

Member for Groom Garth Hamilton talks with Australian Army Aviation Training Centre Commandant Colonel Charlie Barton during a recent visit to the base.

 Mr Hamilton said the Singaporean agreement with Australia to use the centre for pilot training has been very successful and should be used as a blueprint for future agreements.

He said he has written to Mr Dutton to urge him to consider inviting more countries to use the centre as a training base.

“I think the Aviation Training Centre has been flying under the radar for some time,” Mr Hamilton said.

“I see the value in the facility and what it does. 

“It’s an awesome place and the agreement with the Singaporeans is a good story for the site.

“The relationship between the countries is only getting better.

“It is an arrangement that works well, so why not try and expand it.”

Mr Hamilton said having new international partners use the site would be beneficial for the long term future of the centre.

“It would cement the future of the base, bring more jobs to the region and possibly more or new industries,” he said.

Mr Hamilton said it was still early days and acknowledged that any new agreements with countries would be a long process.

“I want Oakey to be in the discussion when the Minister [of Defence] meets with representatives from other countries,” he said.

“We need Oakey to be front of mind.”

The RSAF commenced training at Oakey in 1996.

Its footprint has grown significantly since the agreement was signed with several facility upgrades and operation expansions in the past 25 years.

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