More than 4,200 Singapore defence troops are expected to inject at least $35 million into the Rockhampton-Yeppoon economies as they arrive for military Exercise Wallaby 2015.
This year’s event marks the 25th anniversary of Exercise Wallaby conducted as Shoalwater Bay military training ground – considered one of the best in the Pacific.
The first of the troops began arriving on international flights to Rockhampton airport over the last two days.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Rockhampton Regional Councillor Neil Fisher today urged locals to say G’day to a Singaporean and welcome the troops.
Ms Landry said the event, which begins this week and runs until the end of November, is expected to inject tens of millions of dollars into the Rockhampton and Yeppoon economies.
“This is a very important economic boost to our region’s economy,” Ms Landry said, “last year Singapore Defence spent $35 million in Capricornia and we anticipate the same or even more this year. Possibly, as much as $40 million – the majority of which will boost local businesses and the local economy.
“It’s estimated $24million to $30million is spent with local contractors on logistics and supplies; $3million to $4million on accommodation and hospitality services and as much as $3million to $4million is spent by individual servicemen and women on retail and tourism when they get recreational leave in the area.”
Ms Landry said in addition, Singapore Defence provides nearly $2 million to Australian Defence in support costs including equipment support for airport operations at Rockhampton airport.
“This money is all spent local in the electorate of Capricornia,” Ms Landry said.
Rockhampton Regional Councillor Neil Fisher said businesses in the city would benefit from at least 600 Singaporean air force personnel staying in local hotels and motels.
“This is on top of a rotating recreational leave roster which will see troops returning to the city for 48 hours of recreational leave prior to retuning back to Singapore,” Cr Fisher said.
“This exercise is a very important part of our economy and we encourage everyone to welcome a Singaporean when they see them in the streets and out shopping,” he said.
Photo1: Michelle Landry MP and Rockhampton Regional Cr Neil Fisher discuss the economic benefits of the Singapore military at the city’s airport.
Photo 2: Michelle Landry MP and Rockhampton Regional Cr Neil Fisher urge locals to say G’day to a Singaporean and make the troops feel welcome.