Queensland opens $5 million Defence Industry Hub

Photo: Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning

The first of Queensland’s Defence Industry Hubs has officially opened in Ipswich. The $5 million facility will help local businesses take advantage of the growing opportunities in defence.

“We already have a significant defence industry supply chain established in the Ipswich region, but we want more small-to-medium enterprises to take advantage of the growing opportunities,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“We’ve allocated $5 million to the hub so it can help local businesses get on the defence radar and be considered for contracts in areas like heavy vehicle manufacturing and maintenance, aerospace maintenance, and autonomous systems development.

“Ipswich is one of Queensland’s major locations for military and civilian defence activity, so there are plenty of opportunities.”

The RAAF’s Base Amberley, Australia’s largest defence air base, is based in the city and the $170 million Rheinmetall’s MILVEHCOE facility, which will soon become a major manufacturing centre for armoured vehicles, is being constructed at nearby Redbank Plains.

“Our aim is to have more than 10,000 defence jobs in Queensland by 2028, and the Ipswich Defence Industry Hub is going to help us reach that goal,” Palaszczuk said.

Dedicated hub staff will help more businesses become defence ready through a targeted program of activities and workshops to help them understand defence industry requirements and support them as they expand their capabilities and bid for defence contracts.

The defence industry generates $1.3 billion in export value for Ipswich, and more than 10 per cent of all jobs in Ipswich are supported by the defence industry and its supply chain.

“Whether that’s through heavy vehicle and aerospace manufacturing, maintenance, repair and overhaul, or autonomous technology development, we know we have the skills and talent locally to compete for work globally,” Member for Ipswich West, Jim Madden, said.

Queensland-based TAE Aerospace recently expanded its Ipswich operations with a new jet engine maintenance facility at Bundamba.

TAE Aerospace CEO, Andrew Sanderson, said the hub will be a valuable resource for identifying opportunities and upskilling businesses to meet the expectations of the defence supply chain.