The committee is investigating how the increased investment in defence will deliver benefits and opportunities for regional economies and communities. It is looking at what mechanisms are in place to ensure local business is aware of and ready to be considered for opportunities, businesses which have been successful and any barriers encountered by others. In summary, the committee wants to test whether the increased spend outlined in the 2016 Defence White Paper is benefitting regional economies as well as investigate the interaction by Defence with the local economy and communities.
On 22 August 2017, the committee held a public hearing in Darwin and on 23 August the committee held a public hearing in Katherine, Northern Territory. A list of witnesses who gave evidence is available at Appendix 2. The committee has decided to table this interim report which focuses the evidence received in Darwin and Katherine. In addition to the public hearing in Katherine, the committee also undertook a site visit to RAAF Base Tindal.