MPs push defence deal case
VICTORIA’S federal MPs have held high-level talks with Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne as a decision nears on military contracts worth up to $20 billion.
The Turnbull Government is set to decide in the next three months whether Victoria or Queensland will be the base for the army’s biggest manufacturing project to build hundreds of new war machines.
A group of Victorian MPs — including Cabinet ministers Josh Frydenberg, Kelly O’Dwyer, Dan Tehan and Greg Hunt — met Mr Pyne this week to push their case.
About 2000 jobs would be created by the LAND 400 project, and Victoria’s pitch with military giant BAE Systems would be about 20 per cent cheaper than the Queensland option.
The MPs argue Victoria offers a manufacturing and engineering workforce “unmatched by any other state”.
Mr Pyne has refused to comment on the tender process, with the government awaiting the Defence Force’s recommendation before making a decision on which state will win.