Minister for Manufacturing David Hodgett yesterday presented Victoria’s world class defence manufacturing industry at the opening of Australia’s premier land defence exhibition and a leading land defence forum – the LAND Forces 2014 Exposition in Brisbane – which is currently taking place at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre and will run until 25 September 2014.
Mr Hodgett hosted a lunch for key industry stakeholders to promote Victoria’s manufacturing capabilities ahead of the current and upcoming project delivering land and combat platform under the LAND 400 project.
Speaking at the event, Mr Hodgett believes Victoria’s defence manufacturing industry is a key generator of jobs, exports and economic growth in the state, and plays a key role in driving innovation and the uptake of new technologies across the broader manufacturing sector.
“Victoria’s advanced manufacturing strengths make it Australia’s leader in the design and manufacture of land-based military vehicles for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and overseas customers,” Mr Hodgett said.
“The key to Victoria’s success in defence is innovation. Victoria not only generates brilliant ideas, we manufacture and market them to the point where they become global standards in defence industry technology.”
“This success in protected military vehicle design and production continues, with Thales Australia now testing Hawkei for consideration by the Australian Defence Force. Port Melbourne based Supacat has also just been awarded a $130 million contract to provide specialised vehicles for the Australian Defence Force’s Special Operations. Supacat will deliver 89 Special Operations Vehicle-Commandos in a contract that will create up to 150 new jobs in Victoria and NSW,” the Minister said.
“Mercedes-Benz in Mulgrave continues to deliver the versatile G-wagon for the ADF to suit rugged Australian conditions, and Elbit Systems, headquartered in Melbourne, new generation of battlefield management systems as part of LAND 200.”
According to him, the Victorian Government will continue to support local defence manufacturers so they can secure contracts both in Australia and abroad.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is totally committed to ensuring that local businesses secure a fair share of future Australian defence contracts and are well placed to capture global opportunities. This commitment was demonstrated recently by the Napthine Government’s $8.7 million investment in developing Victoria’s defence and security industries, announced in the 2013/14 State Budget,” Mr Hodgett said.
“This is complemented by the statewide network of Victorian Government Business Offices and 17 active international Business Offices, which provide on ground support for our defence sector in new global markets.”