$384m cost blowout on ADF plan to upgrade airstrip, boost military presence on Cocos (Keeling) Islands
, 2023-01-15 22:41:37,
Plans to upgrade the military capabilities of one of Australia’s most remote territories have been hit by significant cost blowouts and delays.
- The Australian Defence Force plans to upgrade the airfield at the Cocos (Keeling) Islands to accommodate heavier military planes
- The budget has blown out from $184 million to $568 million
- Construction will start mid-2023, subject to parliamentary approval
Under plans led by the Australian Defence Force (ADF), the Cocos (Keeling) Islands will have runway upgraded to receive larger military aircraft and act as a forward operating base for Australian surveillance and electronic warfare planes.
But the cost of the runway upgrade has now blown out by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Initially budgeted at $184 million, figures submitted to a parliamentary committee late last year revealed the upgrade’s cost would be tripled to $568 million.
An ADF spokesperson said the added cost was attributed to an increase in the project’s scope and materials.
“The scope of the project has increased to include a 150-metre runway extension and additional supporting infrastructure,” the spokesperson said.
“The cost of materials, labour and logistics has increased significantly over the past two to three years.”
Upgrades to the “strategically important” airfield on the islands, about 3,000 kilometres…
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