This week, Exercise Wallaby draws to a close for 2023. More than 2000 Singapore Defence Personnel arrived in Rockhampton over the past few months to take part in military training exercises at one of the worlds best training grounds, Shoalwater Bay.
Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, said Exercise Wallaby reinforces Rockhampton’s economic future as thousands of Singaporeans spend time exploring the region.
“In 2015, the former Coalition Government announced the Australian Singapore Military Training Initiative (ASMTI) to not only build on Australia’s bilateral relationship with Singapore and enhance our economic durability, but to also to continue to develop our Defence capabilities.
“Next year, we can expect anywhere up to 6,600 Singapore troops in Central Queensland not just training at Shoalwater Bay but spending money at our local small businesses when they are on their break,” Ms Landry said.
The Republic of Singapore invested over $1 billion in infrastructure upgrades for Shoalwater Bay. These critical improvements to one of Australia’s most significant military training areas delivered hundreds of jobs for locals and $70 million worth of opportunities for Central Queensland.
“This level of investment by Singapore into our region solidifies our tight friendship. I will continue to work with the High Commissioner for Singapore, His Excellency Mr Anil Kumar Nayar, to ensure we continue to strengthen our ties with Singapore,” Ms Landry said.
Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor, Cr Tony Williams, said the relationship between the Republic of Singapore and the region was one of deep friendship, mutual respect and joint partnership.
“Exercise Wallaby is an important initiative which provides a significant boost to our local economy,” Mayor Williams said.
“I want to thank the Singaporean Government, armed forces, staff and servicepeople who participated in this year’s event.
“It really is a positive experience for our community – seeing so many visitors out at our local cafes, restaurants or visiting our local attractions.
“Exercise Wallaby is a great example of how our region can support and foster defence capability and partnership and I look forward to working with both the Singaporean Government and our own Federal and State colleagues to see this grow into the future.”