Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce, Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, and Senator Matthew Canavan have called on the Federal Government to consider Central Queensland as the home of Australia’s first nuclear submarine base.
Specifically, in the Gladstone region following the announcement that Australia will have eight new nuclear submarines as part of the AUKUS nuclear submarine program.
While Port Kembla has been listed as the favoured option, local Labor branches have passed a resolution opposing new submarines being based in the region.
Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce said that Central Queensland would be an ideal location for Australia’s first nuclear submarine base.
“Gladstone’s deep-water port provides an ideal location for quick responses to evolving situations and as a rapid resupply point for nuclear submarines,” Mr Boyce said.
“Port Alma is the principal port for handling large quantities of Class 1 explosives on the Australian east coast.
“There is no doubt that Central Queensland has the infrastructure and capabilities to support the Australian Defence Force into the future.”
Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry said now is the time for Defence to invest in Central Queensland with much of the infrastructure needed for strategic development already in place.
“The ADF have already identified a need to develop further bases in Northern Australia in the interest of national security. Central Queensland already has the infrastructure in place to support defence in our region; Shoalwater Bay Training Area, deep-water port in Gladstone and Rockhampton Airport already utilised for large-scale military exercises,” Ms Landry said.
“Developing an ADF operation base in Central Queensland will also diversify our region’s economy beyond coal and agriculture and reinforce the resilience of our region.
“While the Labor branches of Port Kembla and Unions may not see the benefit of a submarine base and defence development, our region in Central Queensland certainly welcomes the $4.5 billion additional Growth Regional Product it would deliver.”
Senator Matthew Canavan joined his Central Queensland LNP colleagues and said having a nuclear sub stationed in Gladstone would bring more opportunity as a result of the defence forces to our region.
“CQROC’s economic analysis shows that a full fleet base, that includes the ability to house nuclear submarines, would have over $1 billion worth of economic benefit, as well as over 5,000 full time jobs,” Senator Canavan said.
“We are already seeing great benefit for Central Queensland from the Shoalwater Bay training base north of Rockhampton, stationing a sub in Gladstone would continue the benefits that we’re already seeing from defence operations in Central Queensland.
“With Port Kembla’s Labor branches saying they don’t want the nuclear subs, it’s an opportunity to show that we’re a region willing to stand up and say yes to the benefits that stationing the new AUKUS deal subs in Gladstone would have.”