Last week I was delighted to join my Victorian federal coalition colleagues the member for Menzies, Senator James Paterson and Senator Jane Hume for the very exciting announcement that BAE Systems Australia has selected Victoria as its LAND 400 headquarters. This is an incredibly important contract for Victoria—$5 billion for the LAND 400 phase 2 tender.
There is no better place to manufacture vehicles in Australia than in Victoria. It’s estimated LAND 400 will create more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs. Whether it’s firepower or the protection offered to soldiers, BAE, on its face, is offering the superior vehicle. Critically, unlike its competitor Rheinmetall, 90 per cent of the BAE vehicle will be manufactured locally, which reflects a wonderful commitment to Victorian manufacturing.
The fight does not stop here. One of BAE’s principal partners is Marand, and I’m very hopeful that Marand will place its 60 jobs manufacturing the hull for the vehicle in Geelong, where it currently has some other very important defence operations. I look forward to working with my Victorian colleagues to fight for this very important project across the political divide.
There is no better place than Victoria to place this contract. We have the skilled workforce, the advanced manufacturing expertise and the Defence site—a supply chain unmatched anywhere else in Australia.
9 August 2017