A new $5 million Defence Industry Hub is set to open next year alongside Ipswich innovators and entrepreneurs at Fire Station 101, on Limestone Street in an expanding innovation hub in the city’s CBD.
According to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Ipswich Defence Industry Hub is about ensuring there are even more jobs in more industries for the local community.
“My government remains laser focused on jobs for Queenslanders,” the Premier said.
“We’ve seen 3 per cent jobs growth in the Ipswich region in the past year. But we know there is more to be done to ensure the Ipswich community has access to jobs into the future.
Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said Ipswich is the southern gateway to Queensland’s defence enterprises.
“The Ipswich region is one of our state’s landmark locations for military and civilian defence activity,” Mr Dick said.
“The city is home to RAAF Amberley, Australia’s largest defence air base, and the $170 million MILVEHCOE Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence, currently under construction at Redbank.
“We already have significant defence industry opportunities for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region and the new Defence Industry Hub will ensure there are even more on the way.
“A total of $5 million has been allocated to the Hub, to assist local industry tap into the rapid growth of the defence industries sector and other defence supply chain opportunities, such as heavy vehicle manufacturing and maintenance, aerospace maintenance and the development of trusted autonomous systems.
Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said the city had a long and productive association with the defence sector.
“Defence represents a significant part of our history, our identity, our community and our future,” she said.
“As a sector, it already generates more than $1.4 billion in export value to our local economy, and nearly 10 per cent of all employment in Ipswich is in the defence industry and associated supply chain.”
Ipswich West MP Jim Madden said the Ipswich Defence Industry Hub is a key action of the Palaszczuk Government’s Defence Industries 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.
“By growing our capability and expertise and becoming ‘defence ready’, our small-to-medium sized enterprises can increase their share of national and global contracts, boosting local employment and the economy.
Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller said the Defence Industry Hub would work with local council, industry representatives and business to attract and secure more work for locals.
“The Hub will have two staff dedicated to working with local industry to ensure businesses are ready to bid for defence contracts,” she said.
Member for Jordan Charis Mullen MP said she was proud to be part of a government that delivers on its promises.
“The Defence Hub was a commitment to the people of Ipswich and our region, to help and support emerging and established local businesses tap into the growing defence and aerospace sectors,” she said.
Queensland’s defence industries employ more than 6500 people and generated an estimated $6.3 billion in revenue in 2015-16.