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Ipswich Defence Industry Jobs Take Centre Stage At National Conference

Representatives of the defence industry and contractors descended on Ipswich in November for a major summit to discuss the opportunities for local businesses from a massive wave of investment in the sector over the next few years.

The one-day Queensland Defence Summit was held at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Springfield Central campus on November 20.

The event coincided with the start of construction on the Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) site at Redbank Plains.The MILVEHCOE will be the centrepiece of an 11.1 hectare precinct incorporating a regional headquarters for Rheinmetall Defence and employing around 450 staff.

The Defence Summit was designed to help ensure local businesses were aware of the opportunities and prepared to benefit from a massive wave of investment in the sector.

According to the City of Ipswich, defence industries in Ipswich are worth about $800 million in sales, $600 million in exports and accounts for 20% of Queensland’s total defence employment.

This is set to grow over coming years as major projects, including the $5 billion LAND 400 contract, ramp up.

The summit will give Queensland-based businesses interested in being part of the nation’s expanding defence industry the chance to better understand the sector.

Attendees will get key insights from decision-makers and experts about how they can tap into the defence industry supply chain; the Australian and Queensland Governments’ industry support mechanisms; and how local businesses contribute to the current defence industry jobs and investment boom.

Queensland Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the summit will be invaluable to equipping local businesses with the knowledge and connections they need to succeed in the sector.

“Queensland’s defence industry is growing rapidly, including in Ipswich … Essential to building that is getting the right people together in a room. By bringing all the pieces together, we can unlock a network of capability that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Defence contract payments secured by Queensland businesses more than doubled between 2016-17 and 2018-19, rising to an impressive $9.55 billion.

For Ipswich, it will mean more jobs, greater demand for business and a growing need for housing and communities for the increase in resident ADF personnel.

Ipswich is already home to Australia’s largest defence base, RAAF Base Amberley, which has a staff population of 7,400-strong. To complement the strong defence presence, Ipswich is also supported by a cluster of manufacturers located in the region, with almost 1,000 businesses positioned to contribute to defence needs and global supply chains.

For more information visit: www.defenceipswich.com.au