Australia will upgrade facilities at the Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Butterworth used by the Australian Defence Force, as part of our long-standing commitment to regional security.
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said the $22 million investment will ensure Butterworth remains fit for purpose well into the future.
“Australian Defence Force personnel have had a presence at Butterworth for 60 years and the investment reflects the ongoing importance of the base to Australia and Malaysia,” Minister Payne said.
“Around 50 ADF personnel are hosted at RMAF Butterworth by Malaysia and this can increase to up to 350 during exercises.
“The upgrades to the facilities at the RMAF Butterworth will begin with a detailed assessment, which will be done in consultation with Malaysia.”
The announcement was made at the inaugural Malaysia-Australia High Level Committee meeting on Defence Cooperation held at RMAF Butterworth today with the Malaysian Minister of Defence, His Excellency Tuan Haji Mohamad bin Sabu.
“It is fitting that we are able to agree to this investment as we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Australia’s presence at the Base this week. It represents a strong commitment to further strengthen the Australia-Malaysia defence partnership and our enduring ties,” Minister Payne said.
During the meeting, Australia also committed to:
continue to support the development of Malaysia’s Urban Combat Training facility;
increase the number of Defence scholarships offered to Malaysia for study in Australia each year from five to eight; and
provide further F/A-18 spare parts to assist with the sustainment of Malaysia’s fleet.
“These initiatives will further strengthen Australia and Malaysia’s strong and long-standing Defence relationship, which is based on longstanding people-to-people links, shared interests and shared values.”