Perks in de­fence deal bid

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SARAH VOGLER

IN­CEN­TIVES in­clud­ing land tax and pay­roll tax con­ces­sions could be on the ta­ble as the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment fights against Vic­to­ria to se­cure a lu­cra­tive multi- bil­lion- dol­lar war ma­chine con­tract for the state.

Deputy Pre­mier Jackie Trad said the state was pre­pared to do what­ever it took to lure the con­tract here.

“We in­tend to do what­ever we can. We are look­ing at ev­ery­thing,” Ms Trad said.

“It’s in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant. This is some­thing that the State Gov­ern­ment has been work­ing on for quite a num­ber of months.”

Ms Trad would not say which spe­cific in­cen­tives had been of­fered to the com­pa­nies in­volved, but it is un­der­stood the usual prac­tice in­volves land and pay­roll tax con­ces­sions as well as as­sis­tance in find­ing suit­able land project con­cerned.

Fed­eral Coali­tion MPs have also formed a pow­er­ful bloc in a bid to push for the con­tract to come to Queens­land, lob­by­ing Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull and the two multi­na­tional com­pa­nies in the run­ning, Rhein­metall De­fence Aus­tralia and BAE Sys­tems Aus­tralia.

Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk has sought the coun­sel of for­mer Hawke gov­ern­ment de­fence min­is­ter Kim Bea­z­ley in a bid to en­sure the state was on the right track in ne­go­ti­a­tions. De­fence ex­perts said the Land 400 project – one of the big­gest in De­fence De­part­ment his­tory – has the po­ten­tial to re­shape the Queens­land econ­omy.

About 150 of the com­bat ve­hi­cles will be based in Queens­land to sup­port brigades in Townsville and Enog­gera. for the

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