Chris Birrer, First Assistant Secretary-Infrastructure, Department of Defence

As part of the 2019 Capricorn Enterprise Major Projects Forum, we were privileged to welcome Chris Birrer, First Assistant Secretary-Infrastructure from the Department of Defence.

Chris Birrer has been the First Assistant Secretary Infrastructure in the Department of Defence since April 2016.  The Infrastructure Division leads on all infrastructure planning and construction delivery, environmental policy, investigations, and responses, and property management issues across Defence’s bases and training areas nationally.  Chris joined Defence through the graduate program in 1994.  During his time in Defence, Chris has spent most of his career in the international and strategic policy divisions, and has also worked in a range of financial, and corporate management areas.

Giving an update on Defence investment in Central and North Queensland, Chris outlined the key principles for the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative:

  • Delivering ADF requirements
  • Training area development and enhancement
  • Developing local industry
  • Engaging local communities
  • Strengthening Singapore partnerships

With an area 5 ½ times the size of Singapore, Shoalwater Bay Training Area is a significant Defence investment of $135 million to support critical infrastructure upgrades. 2019 sees early works construction commence while major works are forecast to be completed within five years.

Maximising opportunities for local industry:

  • Companies tendering for work with Defence are required to outline how they will maximise the opportunity for local industry participation.
  • This helps ensure local businesses can take full advantage of the opportunities arising from
    Defence projects.
  • Already 26 companies participating in design and early construction works valued at $27 million
  • Visit AusTender to access information

Click here to view Major Project Forum Presentations.

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