A brick border fence is to be constructed across Australia’s north-east, with the construction of the new wall slated to start next year.
The project, known as the Northern Gateway, has already been approved by the federal government, and is expected to be completed by 2018.
The border wall is to protect the Northern Territory from an influx of migrants from Vietnam, but is not expected to affect the existing Australian Border Force (ABF).
A joint project between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department, Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, the project will cost $2.8 billion and take eight years to complete.
The new fence will include a 1,100-metre-high concrete wall with an 8,000-metres wide, reinforced concrete wall.
Construction of the $1.4 billion project will be carried out in four stages, starting with the $500 million Northern Gateway Gateway Project Phase 1.
A second phase will be built at a later date.
The project will involve construction of two further concrete wall prototypes, each of which will be taller than the first, and will cost a total of $2 billion.
A third phase will also be built, and involve building a temporary border fence at an estimated cost of $3.5 billion.
The fourth and final phase of the project, the final phase, is to build a concrete wall on a 1.7-kilometre-long stretch of land, starting at the NT Government’s northern border with Western Australia, extending along the Northern Rivers, and linking with the existing barrier at the New South Wales border with Queensland.
The $1 billion Northern Gateway Project is one of the largest border infrastructure projects in Australia, with around 2,000 kilometres of construction expected to occur, including a $3 billion barrier along the NT-Queensland border, and a $2-billion barrier along New South Australia-Victoria border.
A spokesperson for the Department said it was important to note the project had already been developed by other countries and not be a direct result of the Northern Border Force.
“The Northern Gateway will be one of several initiatives that will improve our border security while reducing the costs to Australia, the NT and the wider region,” she said.
The Northern Border Project was approved by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in March and the construction will start in the coming weeks.
The government has also given the NT’s chief minister, Peter Dutton, a mandate to design the border fence.