Ready to boom
MORE than $20 billion in military contracts and manufacturing could flow into Queensland in the next decade if the state lands a lucrative deal to build state-of-the-art tanks.
Queensland MPs have already dubbed the Land 400 contract to build 225 armoured reconnaissance vehicles “bigger than the multibillion-dollar Adani mine” – but say it could act as an anchor to turn the state into a hub for defence manufacturing and development industries.
MPs are now considering ways to link other major defence investments, such as the $2 billion Singapore army training base at Shoalwater Bay and Townsville.
Military contractor Rheinmetall is one of two companies bidding for the initial $5 billion Land 400 phase two contract and has promised to set up shop in Queensland if it wins. It is already eyeing off phase three, worth up to $15 billion, while other organisations have begun looking to Queensland for further investment in defence industries. International missile manufacturer MBDA is understood to be considering a presence.
Rheinmetall has pledged an $80 million research fund with Queensland University of Technology and other tertiary institutions if it wins.
The 26 Turnbull Government MPs and senators, under the banner “Team Queensland” have been push- ing for Rheinmetall and expect a winner to be announced early next year. Rheinmetall is one of two companies bidding for phase two, with BAE pledging to operate in Victoria.
Fairfax MP Ted O’Brien, who has led the local charge, said the military contract could be the start of a new employment industry.
“This is an enormous exporting opportunity for Queensland that gives sustainability for jobs,” he said. EDITORIAL P20