Manufacturing News

Defence contracts to bring over 200 jobs to Victoria

The government’s decision to fund production of the next generation of Protected Mobility Vehicles in Victoria is a "common sense decision that will mean Australians get twice the value for their taxpayer dollar," according to the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU).

[Image, right: Thales Bendigo Bushmaster was also manufactured in Victoria.]

According to AMWU national secretary, Dave Oliver, manufacturing workers will benefit from the government’s decision to buy local content.

“This new contract will secure more than 200 manufacturing jobs directly in Bendigo and hundreds more in the community as well as at supplier component manufacturers across Australia for the next decade,” he said.

Oliver says the last defence vehicle to be built in Victoria, the Bendigo Bushmaster, was “an achievement of local design and manufacturing”.

“The fact that the Minister has awarded this new contract locally shows that the government recognises the overall benefit of spending taxpayer dollars to support our own industry, and of keeping up our local defence manufacturing capacity,” he said.

“While some are calling for the off-shoring of key defence work to the lowest bidder, this government has shown that it will put real jobs ahead of bogus ideology.”

In another defence win for Victoria, Thales received the go-ahead from the Victorian government earlier this month to further develop the Hawkei light protected vehicle.

“This is a fantastic achievement for our engineering and production team, our partners and the 120 Australian firms that are part of our manufacturing supply chain," said Thales Australia chief executive officer, Chris Jenkins.

“Up against the best vehicles in its class from US and European manufacturers, the Thales Hawkei has come out on top, which is a great vote of confidence in the skills of Australian defence industry. 

“The Hawkei prototypes were developed in only 18 months and have completed more than 40,000km in vehicle testing. They have been subjected to more than 10 blast tests to prove the protection levels of the crew compartment."

Defence Materiel Minister, Jason Clare, who was instrumental in bringing these contracts to Victoria, left his portfolio during the cabinet reshuffle on Monday

“We welcome the announcement that Kim Carr will take on responsibility for this area along with Manufacturing and look forward to continuing a strong working relationship,” said AMWU’s Oliver.


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