Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said businesses in the region, and across the state, stand to benefit from the current boom in defence investment as established in the 2016 Defence White Paper and Integrated Investment Plan.
Established in 2018 as part of the Queensland government's '10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan', the Minister’s Advisory Council on Defence Industry and Jobs, like its counterparts in NSW and Victoria, aims to leverage the natural advantages of the Queensland economy to attract greater defence industry investment.
"One of my top economic priorities is to accelerate the growth of Queensland’s defence sector and to increase the number of Queenslanders working in defence manufacturing industries from 6,000 to 10,000 in the next decade," Minister Dick explained.
"I am determined to ensure Queensland gets its fair share of that spending, including innovative Sunshine Coast businesses like HeliMods and and Praesidium Global. It’s an ambitious target but one we are well on our way to achieving."
Committee member and Rheinmetall Defence Australia managing director Gary Stewart said the defence advisory body aims to supercharge the manufacturing industry to make the most of the opportunities available in the defence sector.
"We’re driving the state’s defence industry capabilities forward at a rapid rate and continuing to be a leader in defence technology, research and development," Stewart said.
The membership of the Minister’s Advisory Council on Defence Industry and Jobs includes Queensland’s chief defence advisor and strategic defence advisor for land, Lieutenant General (Ret'd) Peter Leahy, AC.
"Mr Leahy, alongside other strategic defence advisers and respected industry leaders, are helping to drive Queensland’s defence agenda and shape government policies and programs for building industry capability and competitiveness," Dick said.
Queensland's Defence Industry 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan identifies three key objectives:
- Grow Queensland’s defence industry capability;
- Significantly increase Queensland’s defence industry contribution to the national and global market; and
- Promote Queensland’s defence industry capabilities.
Queensland’s defence industry employs more than 6,500 people, generated an estimated $6.3 billion in revenue in 2015-16 and secured $4.3 billion in Australian defence contract payments in 2016-17.
The state is underpinned by a strong defence industrial base and world-class capabilities in a range of areas, including aerospace support, ship repair and overhaul, heavy vehicle support and upgrades, command and control systems, reconnaissance and surveillance systems, unmanned vehicles and cyber security.
This positions Queensland at the front line of the defence industry in Australia and an innovative science and technology hub. Development of local defence companies, combined with access to global supply chains, has led to many technological advances in fields like nanotechnology, communications, automotive,
marine, information technology, electronics, precision manufacturing and aerospace.