TWO Gold Coast companies are set to benefit from the federal government’s $5 billion contract to build a new fleet of super tanks in Queensland, it has been revealed.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia will build 211 Boxer CRV tanks at a new facility at Ipswich, west of Brisbane.
The new superior military vehicles will be equipped with high levels of protection, firepower and mobility, enabling sustained operations, varying from peacekeeping to close combat.
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Member for McPherson Karen Andrews said two Gold Coast companies would benefit from the project, after Queensland companies won a major share of the Land 400 Phase 2 investment.
While the key facility will be located in Redbank, Mrs Andrews said Allplates from Molendinar and the GCI Group at Yatala would also contribute to the crucial national project.
Other Queensland companies such as NIOA, Penske, G&O Kert, Ferra Engineering, Global Manufacturing Group and Elbit will all receive a boost.
“Over $1.8 billion will be spent in Queensland on the project creating 330 new jobs for the state,” Mrs Andrews said. “It means more local investment and more local jobs.
“This project is an exciting opportunity for the Australian defence industry to play a vital role in delivering leading edge technology to Australia’s Army.”
Making the announcement at the Enoggera Army Barracks on Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the contract was the largest single acquisition ever made for the Australian Army.
Mr Turnbull said the contract formed part of the government’s plan to make Australia one of the world’s top 10 defence exporters.
“We have had a big defence budget for a long time, but we have not spent enough of it in Australia,” he said.
“We have not spent enough of it with Australian workers, with Australian steel, with Australian technology, building up the means to enable us to build our own capabilities and, indeed, export them to the world.”
Queensland’s State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the state government had worked hard to bring Rheinmetall to Queensland and secure the contract, which he said would create 600 jobs in the state.
“It is a new beginning for manufacturing in Queensland,” Mr Dick told ABC radio.
“We’ve been working with Rheinmetall for three years to secure this contract.”
Over the 30-year life of the vehicles, Australian industry will deliver two–thirds, or $10.2 billion of the acquisition and sustainment, which will create up to 1450 jobs right across Australia.
The new vehicles will be used at facilities in Puckapunyal, Bandiana, Adelaide, Townsville and Enoggera.
The Turnbull Government is also spending around $68 million to upgrade facilities in Queensland to cater for the new vehicles.
For more information on the project, click here.