The Queensland State Government has announced that Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s highly-anticipated Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) and Australia-New Zealand headquarters will be built at Redbank Industrial Estate, near Ipswich.
Speaking at a breakfast gathering of key industry representatives and SMEs at Hilton Manufacturing in Wacol, State Development Minister Cameron Dick said Rheinmetall had considered a number of options for the facility before settling on the dedicated industrial zone within the Redbank Motorway Estate.
“This choice of location will make use of the existing heavy vehicle manufacturing and employment hub, as well as the highly-skilled workforce within the area,” Mr Dick noted.
“Locating the centre of excellence near major transport routes will also achieve supply chain efficiencies and attract further investment and growth in the defence and advanced manufacturing sector.”
He said construction of the MILVEHCOE would support an average of 200 direct jobs over three years, with more jobs and supply chain opportunities to flow to Queensland firms following Rheinmetall’s contract award for the $5 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 project.
“It will also open the way for these companies to participate in Rheinmetall’s global supply chains,” the Minister said, adding that his department, which will assist with the construction of the facility, will now work with Ipswich City Council to progress the development application for the project.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director Gary Stewart noted that the company’s ANZ Headquarters and Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence will be a regional hub with an expected program of continuous design, build and support for up to 5000 military vehicles in Australia and the Asia Pacific.
He said Queensland was the logical choice the MILVEHCOE given the proximity to the largest Army presence in the nation, the existing heavy vehicle precinct, the skilled and ready workforce, and the ecosystem of high-tech defence companies already here.
“We are committed to transferring expertise and advanced military technology into Australia and creating an industrial hub of research and development that will create a strong sovereign military vehicle capability that will be globally competitive for infantry fighting vehicle programs worldwide,” Mr Steward concluded.