Qld scores in billion dollar defence contract battle

Qld scores in billion dollar defence contract battle

One of the contenders for a looming $5 billion defence contract will be base itself in Queensland if it is successful, potentially generating 450 long-term jobs and pumping more than $1 billion into the state’s economy over the next 10 years.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced that Rheinmetall Defence Australia would establish its Australia-New Zealand headquarters and a manufacturing and vehicle maintenance facility in South East Queensland if it wins the upcoming LAND 400 Phase 2 contract to supply Australia’s new armoured vehicles.

“This is a massive win for Queensland, and testament to the skills and capability of our advanced manufacturing companies and their workforce,” she said.

“It’s been a really intensive 10-month period, where the Queensland Government has gone head-to-head with other states.

“But, like the Maroons, we were always confident.”

Rheinmetall Defence Australia has selected Queensland as its preferred location to build a military vehicle centre of excellence (MILVEHCOE) if it wins the contract to deliver 225 combat reconnaissance vehicles for the Australian Army.

Around 100 of these vehicles are expected to be located at the Townsville and Enoggera bases.

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt said Rheinmetall is vying for the Department of Defence contract, which is expected to be announced in the first quarter of next year.

“If it wins, Rheinmetall has committed to design, manufacture and maintain its Boxer CRV vehicle, as well as its existing defence manufacturing and maintenance business, in Queensland,” Mr Pitt said.

“Defence industries employ approximately 6500 Queenslanders across the state from Cairns to the Gold Coast, and generates more than $4.2 billion in annual revenue.

“Clearly this is big business for our state and we’re well equipped to meet the future requirements of the major global defence industries and that’s why we’re confident we can bring the contract to Queensland.”

State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Rheinmetall expected the Queensland move would generate at least 450 full-time equivalent jobs over 10 years across Queensland’s defence supply chain.

“Most of these will be highly skilled, highly paid advanced manufacturing and engineering jobs, the jobs of the future we want for Queensland.

“The transfer of technologies and skills to Queensland companies will make them even more competitive globally and will have far-reaching benefits across the entire industry.

“A whole new military vehicle manufacturing industry will be a game-changer for decades to come.”

Under the LAND 400 Phase 2 contract, Rheinmetall would need to have its facility completed by mid-2020 to supply the first Boxer CRV by 2022.

Rheinmetall is one of two companies vying for the Department of Defence’s Land 400 Phase 2 contract, which is expected to be announced in the first quarter of next year.

The other company is BAE Systems Australia, which has yet to announce where it would manufacturer its vehicles if it were to win the Land 400 contract.

Dr Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government had put a compelling case to BAE for Queensland to also be its preferred location.

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