More than 150 local businesses attended an industry forum yesterday at the University of the Sunshine Coast, where the focus was on defence industry engagement with SMEs.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne and his parliamentary colleague Andrew Wallace, the member for Fisher, attended the event. During the forum, Minister Pyne congratulated South-East Queensland company Helimods on being awarded a $154,000 contract to manufacture 14 aircraft cabin wet decks for Navy's MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopters.
Minister Pyne said the family-owned company employs 25 full-time workers and specialises in modifying new and modern helicopters.
"The wet deck is required to reduce the aircraft cabin floor’s exposure to salt water and surface wear caused by search and rescue operations and equipment," Minister Pyne said.
"Helimods has also developed and installed equipment in Emergency Service helicopters around Australia and has exported its products to North America and south-east Asia," Minister Pyne said.
The minister also said innovative Australian industry is a core element of defence capability.
"We are investing now to nurture Australia’s defence industry as part of our long-term strategy," said Minister Pyne.
Wallace highlighted the innovative developments of the local defence industry in the Fisher electorate.
"Praesidium Global from Caloundra is designing and manufacturing unmanned ground vehicles to get wounded soldiers to safety," Wallace said.
"The company was one of a selected few to present innovative solutions at the Army Innovation Day in Canberra last year.
"It’s fantastic Praesidium Global has now entered into a contract worth over $1.3 million with Defence to supply unmanned ground vehicles for Army user evaluation."
Minister Pyne said this exemplifies how the 2016 Defence White Paper, the Integrated Investment Program and the Defence Industry Policy Statement are being applied to support Australian industry while providing innovative solutions to the military.