About $3 billion will be spent by the Federal Government’s to “refresh and redevelopment” defence facilities in Queensland, including RAAF Base Amberley.
About $3 billion will be spent by the Federal Government’s to “refresh and redevelopment” defence facilities in Queensland, including RAAF Base Amberley.

How $270 billion defence spend brings more jobs to Ipswich

IPSWICH MP Jennifer Howard is calling on the Federal Government to give Ipswich its "fair share" of defence contracts as part of a mega $270 billion spend on the sector in the next 10 years.

Mayor Teresa Harding said she will do "everything possible" to ensure the city takes advantage to secure more investment and jobs.

The industry is crucial to Ipswich's economy.

Close to 10 per cent of all employment in the city is in the defence industry and associated supply chain and the sector generates more than $1.41 billion in export value for the local economy.

Federal Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said $3 billion will be invested into the "refresh and redevelopment" of defence facilities in Queensland, including RAAF Base Amberley, in the next decade.

"Local industry involvement in the delivery of these projects will be maximised through this Government's Local Industry Capability Plan initiative," she said.

"This ensures that local suppliers, contractors and tradies have the opportunity to secure more of this work, creating more jobs for local communities."

State Development Minister Kate Jones said the State Government has a "clear strategy" to grow the defence industry and create more jobs but more investment was important for cities like Ipswich as we start to move past COVID-19.

"Defence contracts in places like Ipswich will be crucial to our economic recovery post-COVID-19," she said.

"Don't send these defence contracts overseas."

The defence industry is crucial to Ipswich’s economy.
The defence industry is crucial to Ipswich’s economy.

Ms Howard said Ipswich is home to some of the leading defence manufacturing firms in Australia.

"I'm calling on the Federal Government to give Ipswich its fair share of contracts," she said.

"Defence manufacturing will be crucial to jobs growth in this region. That's why we're working with local companies to secure more contracts to create jobs in Ipswich.

"We don't want to see these jobs go offshore or interstate.

"It's only fair that these contracts go to local companies, to support local jobs."

Cr Harding said more investment would require a bipartisan approach from all three levels of government.

"I will be doing my part to ensure this money flows into Ipswich manufacturing businesses and into the community," she said.

"With significant defence force representation, an established and skilled workforce, an extensive industry network and capacity for growth and innovation, Ipswich is recognised as one of Australia's primary defence regions."

Over the next four years the air force will have a growth of 100 permanent workers, growing it to 14,638.

As RAAF Base Amberley is the largest air force base in Australia, and indeed the southern hemisphere, more jobs could be set for Ipswich.

The Rheinmetall Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence at Redbank will be at the head of the queue for any contracts that involve defence and automotive technology.

After winning the $5.2 billion LAND 400 phase 2 tender in 2018, Rheinmetall has taken a major step toward securing a $10-$15 billion LAND 400 Phase 3 tender after being short-listed to enter the next stage of the process.

Should Rheinmetall be successful for the LAND 400 Phase 3 tender, up to 400 Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicles would be manufactured at MILVEHCOE.

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.



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