Jobs explosion from $15b defence contract
MILLIONS of dollars of contracts have already been signed and construction started on one of Queensland's biggest defence projects, according to the Morrison Government.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is due in Brisbane today to tour key sites for the $15 billion Land 400 phase 2 project which has already created 100 jobs with a further 150 expected within the next six months.
Writing exclusively in The Courier-Mail today, Mr Morrison said construction would kick into full gear by September 2020 after Rheinmetall's new Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence west of Brisbane was completed.
"The centre is almost complete so it's not too long until we'll see the first of 211 Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles built in Queensland," he said.
"These world class military vehicles will be developed, manufactured, tested and supported at the centre in Redbank.
"These vehicles will improve safety and fire power for our soldiers, but they'll also be made by Australians right here in Queensland.
"This means real, long term jobs, around 1400 nationally with most of those created in Queensland."
Mr Morrison said initial subcontracts worth about $19 million for the Boxer had already been signed with Australian businesses.
The total value of the contracts with small- and medium-sized businesses is expected to reach close to $2 billion by the time phase two of Land 400 is completed, creating a long-term supply chain in Queensland for the defence industry.
The supply chain could put Queensland in the box seat to win a contract for phase three of Land 400 which is due to be announced later this year.
German defence giant Rheinmetall, which chose Ipswich for the home of the Boxers, is one of the front runners for that contract to build 450 infantry fighting vehicles and 17 manoeuvre support vehicles.
Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said the government was "setting the standard" for engaging local businesses in major projects.
"We'll be holding Rheinmetall to account as they deliver phase two and ensure small businesses across Australia are afforded every opportunity to get involved," she said.
"Our record investment in Australia's defence industry is creating jobs and ensuring our manufacturing industry has a long-term future."