The $200 million construction project underway at RAAF Base East Sale is on track for October 2018 completion.
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said he had received an update on the project this week and there are approximately 230 workers on site, which was expected to peak at 300 later in the year.
Construction of infrastructure under the AIR5428 Phase 1 Pilot Training System Facility Project was almost half-way complete.
Mr Chester said he had recently been in contact with the Project Manager, Laing O’Rourke, to reiterate the expectation that there were opportunities for local people to work on the project; and Mr Chester had also made representations about the importance of local jobs to the Minister for Defence.
“I have been advised that Laing O’Rourke has been impressed with the interest and capability of the Gippsland building and construction sector and has employed local people where possible,” Mr Chester said.
“Further, I am assured that where outside companies have been employed, those subcontractors have been encouraged to consider the employment of local tradespeople.”
Mr Chester said the project included construction of student accommodation and training facilities, new hangars and maintenance workshops, classrooms and training facilities, flight simulators and live-in accommodation for 105 students.
Sale will be the home of basic pilot training for all Australian Defence Forces (ADF) from 2019.
“Sale will be the training hub for ADF pilots, bringing students from across Australia to Sale for training,” Mr Chester said.
“The basic pilot training school will provide a significant economic boost to Gippsland, bringing 150 Defence jobs to East Sale, and has been estimated to deliver $15 million per year in economic activity.
“Sale and the broader Gippsland community have a long and proud association with the Australian Defence Force and I look forward to working with Air Force personnel and the contract team to ensure that the relationship between Defence and the local community continues to prosper into the future.”