Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s plan to shift a naval base from Sydney to Brisbane, announced 12 days before the federal election, will have the greatest impact in a number of key marginal seats — including his own.
While the move has been flagged in Defence’s Force Posture Review, it has previously been rejected, chiefly because of the cost.
The Australian reports the move would cost around $6 billion and move 4000 jobs from NSW to Queensland. Some critical seats would get an economic boost from the arrival of the naval operating base.
From The Oz:
The Port of Brisbane, where the proposed base would be built, is in the marginal Liberal National Party-held electorate of Bonner, which is alongside Mr Rudd’s electorate of Griffith in Brisbane’s southeastern suburbs.
Mr Rudd holds Griffith by 8.5 per cent but is under pressure to keep it after the latest Newspoll showed he was trailing his LNP opponent Bill Glasson 48 per cent to 52 per cent.
The Force Posture Review said the planning for the new base could be done at the existing naval headquarters at Bulimba, in Griffith, while the actual construction would take place at the Port of Brisbane in Bonner, held by the LNP’s Ross Vasta by a margin of 2.9 per cent.
The proposal would be the biggest infrastructure project in Brisbane and the scale of such a build-up would benefit voters in other marginal electorates, such as former treasurer Wayne Swan’s seat of Lilley, held by 3.2 per cent; Brisbane, held by the LNP’s Teresa Gambaro with a margin of 1.2 per cent; and Moreton, held by the ALP’s Graham Perrett by a margin of 1.2 per cent.
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