Geelong remains in focus in military manufacturing bid

Economic Development Pillar

Geelong remains a focus in the State Government’s push to win a billion-dollar Federal Government contract building next-generation military vehicles.

The state has partnered with BAE Systems Australia in its bid for the $5 billion LAND 400 project, Australia’s largest ever land military vehicle procurement program.

The project includes the design, build and maintenance of 225 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles which will replace the existing Australian Light Armoured Vehicle fleet.

The Federal Government is preparing to make a decision on allocation of the LAND 400 contract and Victoria’s campaign is focusing on the strengths of its defence industry manufacturing record.

The bid includes supply chain company Marand, which would provide components and look to increase its footprint in Geelong. Marand would base much of its work at Norlane’s former Ford plant, with the creation of up to 60 new jobs including many for former automotive workers.

Acting Trade and Investment Minister Ben Carroll said the Federal Government’s decision was important for Geelong.

“If BAE Systems Australia is successful in securing LAND 400 it will mean new jobs for Geelong and a chance for former auto workers to transition into new employment,” Mr Carroll said.

“LAND 400 belongs in Victoria. We have the proven workforce, the expertise and the supply chain to get it done, and get it done well.”

Member for Geelong Christine Couzens said the decision was an opportunity for the Federal Government to provide certainty for Geelong’s manufacturing sector and support new supply chain jobs in the city.

Victoria’s defence sector is worth $8 billion to the state economy every year, and includes about 20,000 workers and more than 400 businesses.

If BAE Systems is awarded the LAND 400 contract it would add close to $1 billion to Victoria’s economy, and create up to 2000 manufacturing and supply chain jobs.

Source: A State Government media release.