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A project to expand the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Central Queensland has hit a new phase, with the start of major construction works.

The construction workforce is expected to peak at 450 people for the project, which is part of the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative (ASMTI).

Managing contractor Laing O’Rourke has committed to sourcing close to 80 per cent of the value of the subcontracted works from the Central Queensland region.

Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said she was delighted to see the start of civil works on the Shoalwater Bay Training Area site.

“It’s fantastic to see such development in Central Queensland,” Ms Landry said.

“This is more good news for local businesses, some of whom I hope will stand to benefit from the numerous packages to be released to market in the future.

“Just recently, two more contracts worth more than $10 million were awarded for works on site, including Bellequip Pty Ltd, which has been awarded in the order of $6 million to deliver construction works at SWBTA.

“Indigenous-endorsed company, On Country Workforce Solutions, has won a $3.9 million contract for labour hire, providing logistical and site maintenance services on site.”

She said Laing O’Rourke was currently reviewing 10 subcontractor packages worth $100 million, with numerous additional packages in the pipeline.

Upcoming works include the construction of urban operations training facilities, information and communication technology infrastructure, waste management and medical facilities across the expanded SWBTA.

Capricorn Enterprise regional economic development manager Neil Lethlean said the local region was benefiting greatly from Defence projects.

Local contractors had carried out the bulk of the early works for the ASMTI upgrade at Shoalwater Bay, he said, and as the major work came online it was interesting to see local businesses forming joint ventures to secure packages.

“Local civil and construction contractors have secured meaningful contracts under both the ASMTI and the Shoalwater Bay Training Area Remediation Project,” Mr Lethlean said.

The on-ground ASMTI contract works are expected to total about $800 million, while the Shoalwater Bay Training Area Remediation Project – being led by Downer EDI and joint venture partner FKG Group – is valued around $135 million.

Both still had significant work packages to be released, Mr Lethlean said.