It is welcomed news today that Rheinmetall Defence Australia were awarded Phase 2 of the Land 400 contract to manufacture the next generation of Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles to the Australian Army.
While the 211 vehicles will be built in Brisbane, one-third of them will be based in Townsville, requiring additional infrastructure and services towards vehicle maintenance, creating jobs in our region. This will underpin Townsville’s agenda of establishing itself as the hub for deep maintenance, logistics and sustainment for the Australian Defence Force in Northern Australia.
According to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the decision to select Rheinmetall was the result of a comprehensive three-year tender and rigorous testing process, which assessed its Boxer CRV as the most capable vehicle for the Australian Defence Force.
As a part of the project, Townsville will have a share of the Federal Government's $235 million towards upgrading Townsville's Defence facilities to accommodate the vehicles.
Defence has long been one of the key contributors to Townsville’s growth and economic diversity for generations. Within this context, the consideration of Townsville’s Defence role is also deeply inter-related with the development of the Townsville region itself. It’s estimated that approximately 7,500 service men and women are based in Townsville, with overall Defence personnel and their dependents constituting for approximately 15,000 people or 8% of Townsville’s population. In the past 12 months, the Defence industry in Townsville North Queensland has grown by 54.12% contributing an additional $589 million to our local economy, totalling a staggering $1.67 billion economic injection into our region.
Townsville Enterprise congratulates the Prime Minister and the Federal Government, the Premier and the Queensland Government and all local representatives involved in securing this milestone that not only benefits our country's economy, but strengthens Townsville North Queensland's future role in building capacity supportive of Defence operations across northern Australia.