$5 million defence hub designed to secure jobs for Ipswich
A $5 million hub will open in Ipswich early next year, designed to assist local businesses tap into the booming defence sector.
The Defence Industry Hub will be co-located alongside Ipswich City Council's innovation centre Fire Station 101.
It will have two staff dedicated to working with local industry to ensure businesses are prepared to bid for lucrative defence contracts.
The hub will work with the council, industry representatives and businesses to attract and secure jobs for the city.
Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said Ipswich is the southern gateway to Queensland's defence enterprises.
"The Ipswich region is one of our state's landmark locations for military and civilian defence activity," he said.
"The city is home to RAAF Amberley, Australia's largest defence air base, and the $170 million MILVEHCOE Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence, currently under construction at Redbank.
"We already have significant defence industry opportunities for small-to-medium enterprises in the region and the new Defence Industry Hub will ensure there are even more on the way.
"A total of $5 million has been allocated to the hub, to assist local industry tap into the rapid growth of the defence industries sector and other defence supply chain opportunities, such as heavy vehicle manufacturing and maintenance, aerospace maintenance and the development of trusted autonomous systems."
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the hub was about ensuring more jobs for Ipswich.
"We've seen three per cent jobs growth in the Ipswich region in the past year," she said.
"But we know there is more to be done to ensure the Ipswich community has access to jobs into the future."
Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard said the city had a long and productive association with the defence sector.
"Defence represents a significant part of our history, our identity, our community and our future," she said.
"As a sector, it already generates more than $1.4 billion in export value to our local economy, and nearly 10 per cent of all employment in Ipswich is in the defence industry and associated supply chain."