FURTHER investment in defence industries for the Shoalhaven are in the pipeline, and could potentially bring hundreds of jobs to the region.
A development application for a $35 million helicopter service centre and warehouse logistics centre at the Albatross Aviation Technology Park at Yerriyong has been lodged with Shoalhaven City Council.
The DA, lodged by Sikorsky Helitech, complements the work recently commenced by the Department of Defence for a Romeo training centre and hangar facility for two squadrons valued at $205 million.
Mayor Joanna Gash said the new project would support the Defence Romeo facility by essentially building and maintaining the fleet of 24 Royal Australian Navy Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters.
“Delivery of these projects will see the annual spend by Government and associated projects in the Shoalhaven reach in excess of $280 million in 2014, representing over 1700 construction jobs and $108 million in wages”, she said.
Council’s economic development arm has been working on the Albatross Aviation Technology Park vision since the mid-1990s. The park forms a key part of the Shoalhaven’s employment lands portfolio and this new facility will boost skilled employment opportunities for the long term.
“The provision of a dedicated airside industrial precinct has meant that facilities such as those being proposed by Sikorsky Helitech bring international industries to Shoalhaven.
“Increased skilled employment is the key to the economic growth of the area and this development will deliver this,” she said.
Council has negotiated the sale of two land parcels to Sikorsky Helitech with a combined total area of 2.56 hectares.
These building projects are the culmination of almost 10 years of planning.
Sikorsky Helitech, an Australian company affiliated with Sikorsky USA, is a partner with the winning contractor, headed by US Foreign Military Sales.
The other prime partner is Lockheed Martin.