Visit to West Australian Defence bases

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and Member for Durack, Melissa Price MP, today visited Defence’s West Australian Naval Communication Station Harold E Holt, which is set to gain a highly advanced Space Surveillance Telescope.

“The telescope will soon be moved from its current location in the United States to a new purpose built Australian facility near Exmouth, Western Australia,” Minister Payne said.

“Over the next four years, as part of Government’s White Paper commitment, the new facility will be built and the telescope relocated.”

The Space Surveillance Telescope system can quickly track objects at very long ranges and can scan large sections of the sky significantly enhancing the space surveillance capability of both Australia and the United States.

“Together with other space surveillance systems such as the nearby C-Band Radar, the telescope will monitor thousands of objects, including satellites and space debris that can potentially threaten important satellites supporting services such as National Broadband Network,” Minister Payne said.

Ms Price said construction, upgrade and continual maintenance of the facility also represent a significant economic investment and opportunity for the Exmouth region.

“Defence has maintained a strong long term relationship with the region and town of Exmouth for almost 50 years and this commitment will continue into the foreseeable future,” Ms Price said.

Minister Payne and Ms Price also visited RAAF Base Learmonth, which will receive around $190 million for planned upgrades over the next decade to support the RAAF’s new strike and air combat capabilities, including the new F‑35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and the KC-30A air-to-air refueling aircraft.

“These upgrades will provide opportunities for local industries and demonstrate the Turnbull Government’s commitment to ensuring a safe and secure Australia.”

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