One of the primes tendering for the multibillion-dollar defence contract has revealed the state in which it will base itself.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia and the Queensland government today announced the company will establish its Australia and New Zealand headquarters, and a manufacturing and vehicle maintenance facility, in South-East Queensland if it wins the upcoming LAND 400 Phase 2 contract to supply Australia's new armoured vehicles.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the announcement is huge win for the state.
"This is a massive win for Queensland, and testament to the skills and capability of our advanced manufacturing companies and their workforce," she said.
"It’s been a really intensive 10-month period, where the Queensland government has gone head-to-head with other states."
Rheinmetall is competing against BAE Systems Australia for the contract, which will see the winner deliver 225 combat reconnaissance vehicles for the Australian Army.
Around 100 of these vehicles are expected to be located at the Townsville and Enoggera bases.
Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt said Rheinmetall is vying for the Department of Defence contract, which is expected to be announced in the first quarter of next year.
"If it wins, Rheinmetall has committed to design, manufacture and maintain its Boxer CRV vehicle, as well as its existing defence manufacturing and maintenance business, in Queensland," said Minister Pitt.
"Defence industries employ approximately 6,500 Queenslanders across the state from Cairns to the Gold Coast, and generates more than $4.2 billion in annual revenue.
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"Clearly this is big business for our state and we’re well equipped to meet the future requirements of the major global defence industries and that's why we're confident we can bring the contract to Queensland."
If Rheinmetall is successful, it said it expects the Queensland establishment to generate at least 450 full-time equivalent jobs over 10 years across Queensland’s defence supply chain.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said these jobs would also benefit other Queensland companies.
"Most of these will be highly skilled, highly paid advanced manufacturing and engineering jobs, the jobs of the future we want for Queensland," Minister Lynham said.
"The transfer of technologies and skills to Queensland companies will make them even more competitive globally and will have far-reaching benefits across the entire industry.
"A whole new military vehicle manufacturing industry will be a game-changer for decades to come."
Under the LAND 400 Phase 2 contract, Rheinmetall would need to have its facility completed by mid-2020 to supply the first Boxer CRV by 2022.
Dr Lynham said the Palaszczuk government had put a compelling case to BAE for Queensland to also be its preferred location.