Former federal minister Greg Combet has been reappointed by the Victorian Labor government as the state’s defence industry advocate.
The Victorian government said Combet will continue to champion the state’s world-class defence sector and promote its interests abroad until the end of 2018.
The role will help strengthen the state’s involvement in major strategic projects such as LAND 400 Phase 2 – which will see the procurement of 225 armoured vehicles for the Australian Army.
Since his appointment in March 2016, Combet has advocated Victoria’s defence industry capabilities to around 160 stakeholders, including Commonwealth ministers, Department of Defence officials, Victorian industry leaders and major global defence companies.
Combet has been directly involved in discussions around securing Victoria’s share of the Commonwealth government’s $195 billion defence procurement program.
Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan said Combet has been a strong advocate for the state and will continue to do so.
"Greg Combet has proven himself to be a great advocate for Victoria’s defence sector – selling our state’s capabilities to the world," said Minister Noonan.
"He will continue to play a crucial role in helping to secure major contracts – including LAND 400 Phase 2 – which will create jobs and support local businesses."
Victoria's defence sector contributes up to $8 billion to the Victorian economy annually, includes more than 300 businesses and directly employs around 7,000 people.
The state's strength in defence manufacturing and research and development has been highlighted by the $1.3 billion Commonwealth contract to build the new Hawkei military vehicle in Bendigo, and Lockheed Martin’s decision to locate its first multi-disciplinary R&D Centre outside the United States in Melbourne.
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Upon his reappointment, Combet said he is honoured to continue the role of advocate and looks forward to seizing defence industry opportunities for Victoria.
"The Victorian defence industry is strong and has great opportunities to grow – my role is to help seize those opportunities and the jobs they will generate," said Combet.
"I’m honoured to continue in the role of the defence industry advocate – helping to drive our local industry and secure major contracts to support Victorian jobs."