Local authorities in Geelong have taken an initiative to land a major Defence contract to build military combat vehicles.
By presenting the city’s manufacturing capacities and capabilities, the authorities are hopeful they will secure the contract for designing, engineering, manufacturing and maintenance of the Land 400 Sentinel Military Vehicle, which would result in the opening of 1,000 jobs and soften the blow from Ford’s departure in 2016.
According to the news article on the ABC, the Land 400 Sentinel project is funded by the Federal Government’s Defence Capability Plan, which has allocated $10 billion dollars for the design and manufacturing program and additional $10 billion for the maintenance program.
“The Land 400 Sentinel project is the world’s largest armoured vehicle project, and Geelong is uniquely placed to be the manufacturing hub for the combat vehicle,” Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons said.
The nature of the program requires high-technology manufacturing, advanced composite production, software development and maintenance, vehicle system integration and logistics skills.
“Geelong has advanced capability in all these disciplines – obviously we have considerable expertise in vehicle manufacture – at the same time Geelong is a national leader in advanced composite manufacturer, through Carbon Nexus, the Victorian Centre for Advanced Material Manufacturing at Deakin University,” Mr Lyons said.
“Adding considerable weight to the argument is the fact that the project would help the transition of Geelong’s existing vehicle manufacturing sector through the re-employment of trained car industry workers.”
According to Mr Lyons, a project of this magnitude would deliver a significant and enduring boost not only for the city of Geelong, but for the regional and Victorian economy as well.
“Geelong has the right skills, the right facilities and the right location to be the logical home for the land combat vehicle project.”
MP Sarah Henderson has also backed the project, claiming it would revolutionize Geelong and the entire Geelong region.
The competition for the lucrative contract is high, as other areas of Victoria that were severely affected by the closures in the car industry are also battling to secure the land 400 Sentinel project.