Ipswich's 'skilled workforce' perfect for tank contract
FEDERAL Member for Blair Shayne Neumann MP has joined the calls for the Government's Land 400 Tank Building program to be carried out in the state, writing to Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne in support of Ipswich's bid for the project.
Queensland is fighting Victoria in the bid to build the lethal war-machines. The project could inject $5 billion dollars in to the state's economy.
Mr Neumann said Ipswich's strong ties to the Australian Defence Force and experience in the defence industry made it an ideal place.
"Ipswich has had a long and successful association with Australia's defence forces, and is uniquely placed to take on such an important project," he said.
"As the host of RAAF Base Amberley, Australia's largest airforce base, Ipswich is home to over 5500 committed Defence personnel as well as some of our most important Defence assets.
"Ipswich is already home to a thriving defence industry co-located at Amberley, and has a skilled defence and aerospace industry workforce.
"Along with the rapid expansion of local education and training opportunities, our workers are more than capable of taking on this project.
"Both Ipswich City Council and the State Government are fully on board with bringing this project here and providing it with the support it needs to succeed.
Acting Mayor Paul Tully has joined the campaign saying the city was ideally placed to establish a new defence and maintenance facility on such a large scale.
"Ipswich has the available land and is already home to RAAF Base Amberley, our very own super base for the Australian air force," Cr Tully said.
"It is also home to army units, a major defence logistics hub and key defence contractors.
"Council in partnership with key organisations established the City of Ipswich Defence Industry Attraction Committee some eight months ago as a joint initiative between Ipswich City Council and Springfield Land Corporation (SLC).
"It is chaired by the council's CEO Jim Lindsay supported by vice-chairman Jim Varghese from SLC.
"This taskforce of industry heavyweights has been brought together to showcase the city's commitment to grow the defence and aerospace industry, support contractors to expand and help local the supply chain develop defence and aerospace capabilities.
"Ipswich has a growing skilled workforce in an emerging education and training sector.
"Within the city we have two campuses of the University of Southern Queensland and access to other university campuses in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
"To complete the picture of Ipswich as the ideal location for defence industries to establish we are supported by excellent road and rail transport links to the Port of Brisbane and three international airports."
Cr Tully said the city provided extensive support to create opportunities for entrepreneurs, technology and innovation through the city's Smart City Blueprint and innovation hub Fire Station 101.
"The city is also currently ranked in the Top 7 intelligent communities by the New York-based Intelligent Community Forum."