The Victorian Labor government has launched a renewed campaign to win the LAND 400 Phase 2 contract, which would see 225 Combat Renaissance Vehicles built at Fishermans Bend.
Victoria has partnered with BAE Systems Australia, which has put forward the AMV-35, in its bid to win the $5 billion LAND 400 project.
The new campaign, which includes billboards throughout Canberra, aims to promote the strengths of Victoria’s defence industry and record in manufacturing military vehicles as the federal government readies to make a decision on LAND 400 Phase 2.
The campaign features local workers from AME Systems and Marand, who are part of BAE Systems’ supply chain, along with other Victorian defence companies from across the state, including MOOG Australia, Motec, RUAG Australia, DVR Engineering, Parker Hannifin and APV.
Victoria’s defence sector is worth $8 billion to the local economy every year, and is made up of about 20,000 workers and more than 400 businesses.
If BAE Systems is awarded the LAND 400 contract, the government has estimated it would add close to $1 billion to Victoria’s economy and create up to 2,000 manufacturing and supply chain jobs.
BAE Systems and Victoria are up against Rheinmetall, which has promised to build the vehicles in Queensland.
Victoria's Acting Minister for Trade and Investment Ben Carroll said the state is fearful the decision will be based on political point-scoring rather than merit.
"We’re fighting hard for Victorian jobs – we have the skills and proven track record needed for this critical project," Minister Carroll said.
"This is an opportunity for Malcolm Turnbull to repair some of the damage his party caused when they abandoned Victoria’s auto workers.
"This decision should be made in the best interests of our defence force, our troops and our country. It should not be made in the best interests of Malcolm Turnbull’s political career."
A decision is expected within the first half of this year.