Almost $100 million will be spent to deliver world-class infrastructure at a Victorian Defence facility that provides combat training to soldiers in the Australian Army.

The Federal Government’s investment in the School of Armour at Puckapunyal is headlined by a new three-storey Armoured Vehicle Simulation Centre.

Delivering a significant boost to the local economy, the $96.4 million investment is expected to see the construction workforce peak at approximately 200 people per day.

Works are scheduled to start in March this year and will include the modernisation of training support facilities in the wider School of Armour and nine additional workshop bays.

Driver training facilities and tactical simulators for the Army’s armoured fleet will also be upgraded.

Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said it was not only the Australian Army that was going to reap the benefits of the Federal Government’s investment.

“About 85 per cent of the workforce for the School of Armour upgrade is going to be sourced locally,” Ms Price said.

“The construction at Puckapunyal will be of great benefit to the Victorian economy and generate exciting opportunities for local businesses, showing once again that we have the backs of small business.

“The program will also deliver workshops and supporting infrastructure that is designed to be able to maintain the suite of Armoured Fighting Vehicle platforms both now and into the future.”

Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said it was clear the Morrison-McCormack Government was intent on supporting regional businesses.

“The fact that 85 per cent of the workforce is going to come from the areas surrounding this project shows exactly how serious we are,” Mr Drum said.

“The Federal Government’s investment in regional Victoria is helping ensure the economy continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

St Hilliers has been awarded the head contract to deliver the second package as part of the $235 million Fighting Vehicle Facilities Program Stage 1 works, following the announcement of a related package of works at Lavarack Barracks, Townsville.

Ms Price said the works was further evidence of the Federal Government’s commitment to deliver jobs and infrastructure in support of training and maintenance of the current and future fleet of our armoured fighting vehicles.

“Our investment will support the upgraded M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank and incoming LAND 400 and LAND 8160 vehicle fleets,” Ms Price said.

“Training for these next-generation vehicles includes networked, high-fidelity training simulators in new, future-ready training centres.

“This upgrade will modernise the Australian Army’s armoured warfighting capability and their associated training systems.”

Work on the project is expected to finish in late 2022. Further information is available at the Armoured Fighting Vehicle Facilities Program webpage.

The announcement of the funding for the School of Armour at Puckapunyal comes just weeks after Ms Price and Mr Drum announced ADCO had been awarded the head contract for the construction of a $38.9 million state-of-the-art health and wellbeing centre at Puckapunyal.

ENDS

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