Time our num­bers came up

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RE­NEE VIELLARIS ANAL­Y­SIS

POL­I­TICS is a num­bers game.

Mal­colm Turn­bull has 76 House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives MPs and 21 are in Queens­land, sec­ond to NSW. Throw in five se­na­tors and Queens­land is the Prime Min­ster’s sweet spot.

How­ever, we have fewer Cab­i­net min­is­ters than Vic­to­ria, which means they can sit around the de­ci­sion- mak­ing ta­ble to de­mand a greater share of the fund­ing pie for their state.

Our 26 fed­eral Coali­tion Queens­land MPs and se­na­tors are fi­nally do­ing what they should have done years ago: us­ing their weight in the party room to ob­tain more for the peo­ple of Queens­land.

If an elec­tion were held to­day, Bill Shorten would likely win and sev­eral MPs and Cab­i­net min­is­ters would be booted from of­fice. The old hands know how soul- de­stroy­ing be­ing in Op­po­si­tion is, and to them switch­ing sides in Par­lia­ment is an un­bear­able thought.

So they are telling the Prime Min­is­ter and their NSW, Vic­to­ria and South Aus­tralian coun­ter­parts that it is Queens­land’s turn; that with­out Queens­lan­ders, Mal­colm Turn­bull can­not hold of­fice.

Land 400 phase two is a multi- bil­lion- dol­lar De­fence spend that could ri­val the jobs cre­ated dur­ing the min­ing boom, es­pe­cially if Queens­land builds on de­fence in­dus­try ca­pa­bil­i­ties al­ready in the state.

While the win­ning com­pany will de­cide the lo­ca­tion of its Land 400 head­quar­ters, it would be naive to think that the PM would be tone deaf to 26 Queens­lan­ders bang­ing on his door to de­mand the con­tract be awarded to the firm that com­mits to Queens­land.

Enough of the sec­ond air­ports for Syd­ney. Enough of the ex­tra GST cash for Vic­to­ria.

Given South Aus­tralia will re­ceive the lion’s share of $ 85 bil­lion for sub­marines and fu­ture frigates, this project needs to come to Queens­land. WITH

a boom in our de­fence in­dus­try start­ing to take shape as a re­sult of the Turn­bull Gov­ern­ment’s record $ 195 bil­lion in­vest­ment, Queens­land, with its large in­dus­trial base, grow­ing re­search and de­vel­op­ment hubs and ex­pand­ing pop­u­la­tion, is in an en­vi­able po­si­tion to take ad­van­tage.

We are in­vest­ing $ 195 bil­lion to equip our de­fence forces to meet the chal­lenges of the 21st cen­tury. As we ex­pand our ca­pa­bil­ity, the Gov­ern­ment is de­ter­mined max­imise lo­cal con­tent and con­struc­tion.

The Turn­bull Gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to a lo­cal de­fence in­dus­try has given Queens­land busi­nesses the cer­tainty they need to hire more staff, in­vest in skills and in­no­va­tion and build in­fra­struc­ture.

In the past fi­nan­cial year $ 3.8 bil­lion was in­vested through de­fence MIN­IS­TER FOR DE­FENCE IN­DUS­TRY into Queens­land – a sig­nif­i­cant boost for in­dus­try, the econ­omy and the broader com­mu­nity.

Queens­land is al­ready suc­cess­fully lever­ag­ing an im­pres­sive hub of ex­per­tise and al­ready sup­ports bil­lions of dol­lars worth of mil­i­tary ve­hi­cle, aero­space, mar­itime, and other De­fence con­tracts. The state’s small- tomedium en­ter­prises are pro­vid­ing cut­ting- edge tech­nolo­gies and innovations to en­hance our de­fence ca­pa­bil­ity and re­alise sig­nif­i­cant ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties.

A na­tional sup­ply chain will be needed for all the Gov­ern­ment’s ma­jor projects, par­tic­u­larly for the $ 89 bil­lion naval ship­build­ing pro­gram in­clud­ing the Fu­ture Sub­marines, Fu­ture Frigates and Off­shore Pa­trol Ves­sels. Queens­land com­pa­nies are al­ready tak­ing the first steps to be­com­ing a part of the sup­ply chains for th­ese im­por­tant projects with 236 at­tend­ing in­dus­try days in the state over the past few months.

To­day I will an­nounce more than $ 500 mil­lion for up­grades to our Wed­getail air­craft, of which a ma­jor­ity of work will take place in Bris­bane, cre­at­ing al­most 120 jobs.

As part of De­fence’s $ 3.5 bil­lion Land 121 Phase 3B project, Rhein­metall has en­gaged Queens­land com­pa­nies Holm­wood High­gate and Penske to help de­liver the new gen­er­a­tion of medium and heavy trucks to the ADF, while the vast ma­jor­ity of trail­ers are be­ing made by Bris­bane com­pany Haul­mark Trail­ers.

Queens­land’s de­fence in­dus­try is set to re­ceive a fur­ther boost with the re­cently an­nounced sus­tain­ment con­tract for Aus­tralia’s fleet of C- 17A Globe­mas­ters to Boe­ing De­fence Aus­tralia, which will lead to new jobs.

De­fence spend­ing is not just di­rected at south- east Queens­land. This Gov­ern­ment is ex­pand­ing Queens­land’s vi­tal De­fence op­er­a­tional train­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties at both the Townsville Field and Shoal­wa­ter Bay train­ing ar­eas.

The Gov­ern­ment is de­liv­er­ing on the Aus­tralia- Sin­ga­pore Mil­i­tary Train­ing Ini­tia­tive, which will re­sult in strong and en­dur­ing eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and busi­nesses in both re­gions. It will drive much needed in­vest­ment in cen­tral and North Queens­land with up to $ 2 bil­lion in­jected into the re­gion over the next 10 years.

I am a firm be­liever in the in­no­va­tive po­ten­tial of Aus­tralia’s de­fence in­dus­try. This is why the Gov­ern­ment has set up the Cen­tre for De­fence In­dus­try Ca­pa­bil­ity backed by an in­vest­ment of $ 1.6 bil­lion. The cen­tre is the fo­cal point for col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween in­dus­try and academia and the $ 640 mil­lion De­fence In­no­va­tion Hub cap­i­talises on un­prece­dented in­no­va­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties to sup­port De­fence.

The fu­ture is bright for Queens­land and de­fence in­dus­try in not only lo­cal con­tracts but global ex­ports. What we are al­ready see­ing is lo­cal jobs and eco­nomic growth as a re­sult of Turn­bull Gov­ern­ment de­ci­sions, with much more to come.

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