Mackay businesses who attended a briefing when the Boxer armoured vehicle rolled into town last September are in the box seat following the announcement of Rheinmetall Defence Australia as the successful tenderer for the $5 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 contract.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the announcement marked the culmination of a lengthy and active campaign from the Palaszczuk Government to secure the contract for Queensland.
“The LAND 400 Phase 2 contract to deliver the next generation of combat reconnaissance vehicles to the Australian Army is a catalytic project, and attracting a global defence giant like Rheinmetall to Queensland will create opportunities for local industry for decades to come,” he said.
“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.
“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, including businesses in the Mackay region.”
Assistant Minister for State Development and Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said: “The Mackay region is ready to reap the benefits of this major win for Queensland, including job creation, booming business and invaluable industry growth.
“Mackay businesses who participated in a Rheinmetall briefing and had a first-hand look over the Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle could be in the running for local work coming out of this decision.
“Rheinmetall met with representatives of 211 companies in nine regional centres while touring the Boxer around Queensland and have announced teaming arrangements with several businesses so far.
“With more than 100 of the new military vehicles to be based in Townsville and Enoggera, there will undoubtedly be regional supply and support opportunities.
“Watch this space as Rheinmetall is still looking for supply chain partners for LAND 400 and other projects and will continue investigating the potential of Queensland businesses, including businesses in the Mackay region.
“We want to see businesses from Mackay and surrounds linking with Rheinmetall as part of their supply chain and enjoying the rewards that come from playing their part in building the next generation of defence vehicles for our country.”
Rheinmetall Defence Australia has committed to establishing its Australia-New Zealand Headquarters and Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in South East Queensland. This facility will become a regional hub with an expected program of continuous design, build and support for up to 5000 military vehicles in Australia and the Asia Pacific.
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,” he said.
Minister Dick said after working on attracting the LAND 400 Phase 2 contract to the state for nearly three years, the Palaszczuk Government was now looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership with Rheinmetall Defence Australia.
“Rheinmetall’s success is testament to all the advantages that a Queensland location offers to modern land defence projects, and cements the state’s reputation as Australia’s front line for defence industries.”