Hub for defence industry slated for Ipswich

An innovation hub to support defence industry will be co-located with co-working space Fire Station 101 in Ipswich, Queensland.

The $5 million Defence Industry Hub will open in early 2020, and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that the facility hopes to grow the areas manufacturing capabilities.

“The Ipswich Defence Industry Hub is about ensuring there are even more jobs in more industries for the local community,” she said.

Ipswich will provide industry support to the Australian Army’s Boxer Reconnaissance Vehicle program, that will be produced at the MILVEHCOE in Redbank. In addition, RAAF Amberly, the largest air base in Australia, is located eight kilometres southwest of Ipswich. Minister for State Development and Manufacturing, Cameron Dick, noted that these facilities enabled the growth of a supporting local industry.

“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,” he said.

With the defence actively based in the region, there is the potential for supply opportunities for local manufacturing businesses.

“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,” said Dick.

Defence industries in Queensland employ 6,500 people, and generate $6.3 billion in estimated revenue, as of 2015-2016.