South Qld defence industry advisory board meets

The South Queensland Defence Advisory Board met for the first time in Brisbane this week to develop strategies to accelerate local defence industry growth.

The board meeting, hosted at Volvo Group’s Wacol headquarters, brought together industry leaders who advise the government on growing South Queensland’s defence industry and supply chain.

The board’s chair, Jane Hunter, from Boeing Defence Australia, said that South Queensland offered many strategic advantages in building defence capability.

“South Queensland is home to a vibrant and growing defence industry, including some of our state’s key defence assets, such as the Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley, Gallipoli Barracks Enoggera and Greenbank Military Range,” Hunter said.

“We also have an agile network of highly capable defence primes and a growing number of small-to-medium enterprises entering the defence market, helping to position Queensland as a leader in innovative technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems.”

The South Queensland Defence Advisory Board will work closely with the proposed defence hub for Ipswich and offer advice through the Minister’s Advisory Council on how to continue growing the local sector and winning more contracts as part of the Australian government’s ongoing modernisation of the defence force.

The board was established in September alongside another advisory board for the state’s north and an overarching Minister’s Advisory Council on Defence Industry and Jobs. The North Queensland Defence Advisory Board met for the first time in Townsville earlier this month.

Queensland’s state development, manufacturing and infrastructure minister, Cameron Dick, said that the boards would help the continued expansion of defence manufacturing in the state.

“After securing the landmark $5 billion LAND 400 deal, which will see Rheinmetall Defence manufacturing new-generation Australian Army vehicles at Redbank, we are now working to maximise further economic opportunities across a range of defence projects,” Dick said.

“Both boards will also help drive the delivery of our Queensland Defence Industries 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan, which is our government’s guide to significant investment attraction in the future,” Dick said.