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Victoria pushes for more defence manufacturing projects

Editorial
article image Thales Australia's Bushmaster armoured vehicle.

The Victorian Government is aiming to increase the state’s involvement in defence manufacturing as it responds to the upcoming departures of Holden and Ford.

The Herald Sun reports that the Napthine Government has proposed, in a submission to the federal government, that Victoria could transform its economy by chasing $27 billion worth of defence contracts over the next decade.

Geelong business and government leaders have taken an initiative to bid for a $10 billion defence contract to build a fleet of more than 800 military combat vehicles.

Funded by the Federal Government's Defence Capability Plan, the combat vehicle will be known as the Land 400 or L 400.

The Victorian government supports the plan and it is hoped that the contract to design, engineer, manufacture and maintain the vehicles would create 1,000 direct jobs and a further 3,000 indirect jobs in Geelong.

In addition, it is hoped that Bendigo-based defence contractor Thales, which manufacturers the Bushmaster armoured vehicle, could secure the Land 121 pH 4 Project. This contract to build armoured people moving vehicles could be worth up to $2 billion.

The plan also includes ship building. It is hoped that $10 billion in shipbuilding contracts could be fast-tracked and given to BAE Systems which employs 1300 people locally.

In its entirety, it is hoped that the plan would create 3,000 direct jobs and many more indirect jobs over the next ten years.

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