1500 Queensland jobs created to build 211 army tanks
QUEENSLAND has won the Defence contract of the year and Mackay is well positioned to soak up many of the supply chain jobs that come with it.
Queensland opposition leader Deb Frecklington has already congratulated Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for deciding to award Rheinmetall Defence Australia the $5 billion Land 400 Stage 2 contract to build tankers in Ipswich.
This was quickly followed Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk saying Queensland won the contract because of the hard work of her government.
These comments came after the Courier Mail's gun political reporter Renee Viellaris revealed that Mr Turnbull would announce Queensland had won the contract while in Brisbane today.
Ms Viellaris has reported the contract is to build 211, not the original 225, combat reconnaissance vehicles at Rheinmetal's purposely built Ipswich centre. One of these vehicles toured Mackay in September.
That centre would employ 450 people however the supply chain for parts and servicing is expected to create 1500 jobs and inject $10 billion over the next 30 years in serving and maintenance.
These are the contracts Mackay's small to large businesses will be competing for as most of the vehicles will be based at Rockhampton, Townsville and Enoggera and could be serviced by Paget companies.
"This multi-billion dollar project will create thousands of ongoing jobs across all of Queensland," Ms Frecklington said.
"We have the country's worst unemployment so getting a project like this is going to help a lot."
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk followed Ms Frecklington in celebrating the win for the state.
She said the Queensland Government had been fighting to ensure the Federal Government awarded the contract to Rheinmetall because it meant jobs for Queenslanders.
She said former State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham travelled to Germany last year to ensure Rheinmetall understood Ipswich's ability to support the $5 billion manufacturing contract.
"Very clearly, this means jobs for Queensland and jobs for Ipswich," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"As a Government, we've fought hard to ensure this contract is won by Queensland because it means jobs for Queensland.
In September, Rheinmetall the a German juggernaut met with 15 Mackay businesses and briefed a further 25 about how they could become part of that supply chain.
But this is about more than just tapping into one $5billion contract, instead turning Queensland into an exporter of Rheinmetall defence equipment.
While in Mackay, Rheinmetall strategy and marketing manager Tim Pickford said if they won Stages 2 and 3 of the contract they would also manufacture the Lance Turret and Lynx armoured vehicles in Queensland and export them to other countries.
Which is good news for Queensland and Mackay as by winning stage 2 of the Land 400 contract, the state is now well positioned to win the $15 billion stage 3 deal.