Battle for lucrative army defence contract
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk will today launch a campaign to secure a whopping $15 billion defence contract for the state, which would potentially create thousands of new jobs.
She will fire the first salvo in the battle to have the contract - the next phase of the lucrative Land 400 army vehicle rollout - awarded to company Rheinmetall so the vehicles can be built in Queensland.
The campaign is being dubbed "Operation Queensland".
If successful, the contract would allow for 400 army vehicles - 383 infantry fighting vehicles and 17 manoeuvre support vehicles - to be built in the state, expanding Rheinmetall's Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) at Redbank in the city of Ipswich.
Rheinmetall is building the facility as it begins construction of 211 boxer tanks after the $5.2 billion phase 2 of Land 400 was secured last year, following a concerted campaign by State and Federal MPs.
"We won the last big military contract by securing Rheinmetall to Queensland," the Premier said. "This is the natural next step."
Requests for Tender closed on March 1, with Rheinmetall in the running.
Ms Palaszczuk said the Department of Defence was due to announce a shortlist of potential winners within the next six months.
"Our Government's goal is to make sure Queensland and Rheinmetall is on the shortlist," she said. "I am calling on all Queenslanders to get behind this bid."
State Development Minister Cameron Dick said more than 6500 Queenslanders were currently employed in the defence industries.
Australian defence contracts worth $9.5 billion were secured for the state in 2017-18.
Phase 2 of the Land 400 contract is expected to generate 450 jobs.
The Government is hoping phase 3, worth three times as much, will generate thousands more jobs.
"Rheinmetall expects the MILVEHCOE and its impact on Queensland's supply chain will contribute more than $1 billion to the Queensland economy.
Mr Dick said securing phase 3 would guarantee a continuation of work into the long-term.