Regions win big with local jobs from $5.2 billion deal

PM Malcolm Turnbull will launch a strategy to make Australia one of the top ten global defence exporters within the next decade. Picture: David Crosling
PM Malcolm Turnbull will launch a strategy to make Australia one of the top ten global defence exporters within the next decade. Picture: David Crosling

REGIONAL Queensland businesses are encouraged to submit their tenders for services and goods connected to the Australian Defence Force's new generation of combat reconnaissance vehicles.

Ipswich, Cairns, Gold Coast and Maryborough will be the main beneficiaries when German contractor Rheinmetall manufactures 211 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles worth $5.2 billion.

Ipswich will be the manufacturing hub with businesses in regional Queensland supplying parts for the vehicles.

Queensland companies on board already include Redcat Industries from Cairns, Global Manufacturing Group from Maryborough, LaserDyne Technologies from the Gold Coast and NIOA, G & O Kert and Hilton Manufacturing from Brisbane and Ipswich.

There are also hopes central Queensland will get a boost with testing potentially taking place at Shoalwater Bay, a Queensland Government spokesman said.

There is no reason why the rest of the state cannot gain from the project, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, State Development Minister Cameron Dick and Rheinmetall Defence Australia representatives urging other regional Queensland centres to throw their hats into the ring.

"Rheinmetall will draw on skills, services, products and capability from every state and territory in Australia, and with such high levels of Australian industry participation it is a national defence project of which we can all be proud," Mr Dick said.

"In particular, Rheinmetall's choice to use high performance armour steel that has been designed, developed and manufactured on home soil is further evidence of Rheinmetall's commitment to Australia."

Rheinmetall is working with more than 40 companies across Australia to build the vehicles and the project will directly create 1450 new jobs.

Thousands more jobs will flow from supply and manufacture chains.

The Federal Government will also invest $235 million upgrading ADF facilities across Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.

The Australian Manufacturers Union said the project meant "long-term secure employment for manufacturing workers in Queensland".

 "Queensland Manufacturing workers have the skills and experience to make high quality defence vehicles," AMWU Queensland secretary Rohan Webb said.

"Contracts like this create good secure jobs that support the local economy, help families plan for their future."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the decision to manufacture the vehicles in Queensland was good for the economy.

"We have had a big defence budget a long time but we have not spent enough of it with Australian workers, with Australian steel, with Australian technology," he said. - NewsRegional

Topics:  australian defence force employment jobs land400 military

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