Regional Queensland businesses are expected to be among the beneficiaries of today’s announcement by the Federal Government that Rheinmetall Defence Australia is the successful tenderer for the LAND 400 Phase 2 contract.
The Government will spend $5.2 billion to acquire 211 Boxer CRV vehicles, which will replace the Army’s current ageing Australian Light Armoured Vehicle fleet.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia committed to establishing its Australia-New Zealand Headquarters and Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in south-east Queensland, building and providing support for up to 5000 military vehicles in Australia and the Asia Pacific.
State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said regional companies were also set to enjoy the rewards of a Queensland base for the German company.
“Last year Rheinmetall met with 211 companies in nine Queensland regional centres and have already announced teaming arrangements with four regional businesses and others in Brisbane,” he said.
“With over 100 of the new military vehicles to be based in Townsville and Enoggera, regional businesses will be able to capitalise on supply and support opportunities.”
Queensland companies already set to benefit 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.
“This landmark project is an economic game-changer that will create 450 advanced manufacturing and engineering jobs for Queenslanders and pump $1 billion into the state’s economy in the first 10 years,” Mr Dick said.
“Winning this contract will drive high-tech innovation, boost investment, and create global export opportunities for everyone along the extensive supply chain across the state.
“Rheinmetall’s success is testament to all the advantages that a Queensland location offers to modern defence projects, and cements the state’s reputation as Australia’s front line for defence industries.”
Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director, Gary Stewart said that selecting Queensland as the home for its MILVEHCOE – which will be their biggest presence outside of Germany – was a natural choice given the proximity to the largest Army presence in the nation, the existing heavy vehicle precinct, the skilled and ready workforce, and the ecosystem of high-tech defence companies already here.
“We are committed to transferring expertise and advanced military technology into Australia and creating an industrial hub of research and development that will create a strong sovereign military vehicle capability that will be globally competitive for infantry fighting vehicle programs worldwide,” Mr Stewart said.
The Federal Government is also spending about $235 million to upgrade facilities in Puckapunyal and Bandiana in Victoria, Adelaide, and Townsville and Enoggera in Queensland, where the vehicles will be used.
Australian Steel Institute chief executive Tony Dixon said Rheinmetall’s collaborative approach and early engagement with Bisalloy and Bluescope had delivered great result for SEQ, local jobs, industry and Australian steel.
“The MILVEHCOE is an important investment in Australian capability; the Australian steel industry stands ready to supply the facility and the specialised steel used in these vehicles,” he said.
“The potential export opportunities are an exciting development for Australian steel.”