The Australian Government has announced plans to invest $180m (A$244m) for upgrade works at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Curtin.

Located near Derby in Western Australia, the RAAF Base Curtin is a key Australian Defence Force (ADF) base that supports military training and operations in the North-West of the state and Indian Ocean.

The scope of work will include overhauling the facilities and infrastructure at the base.

This will include modernising communications infrastructure, water and electrical services, as well as upgrading working accommodation, workshops, aircraft hangars, storage areas, and security and road infrastructure.

The project is currently in the development stage.

The works are scheduled to start in late 2024, subject to government and parliamentary approval.

If the project is approved, it is expected to support 250 jobs during the construction period, as well as create new opportunities for local businesses.

Australian Minister for Defence Industry and Member for Durack Melissa Price said: “This is fantastic news for small and medium businesses in and around Derby. Those local businesses will have the opportunity to contribute to what is going to be a very significant redevelopment of RAAF Base Curtin.

“A$244m is a huge investment that will support 250 local jobs during the construction period. One of our core objectives is to maximise employment opportunities for local companies to bid for work on these sorts of projects and this one will be no different.”

WSP Australia has started working as the project manager and contract administrator for the development phase of the project.

Last month, ADF released a request for tender to hire a managing contractor. The tender period is scheduled to close on 8 April and a contractor is expected to be appointed in June 2022.

In January, Australian Government opened a purpose-built centre in Brisbane to support the research and development of hypersonic weapons capabilities.