Inaugural meeting of North Queensland Defence Advisory Board

The North Queensland Defence Advisory Board met in Townsville this week for the first time to discuss the multimillion dollar future of the defence industry in the region.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the inaugural meeting of the board brought together industry leaders to provide strategic advice to the government about growing North Queensland’s defence industry and supply chain.

“One of my top economic priorities is to accelerate the growth of Queensland’s defence sector and I believe this board will help to create a pipeline of defence-related work in North Queensland,” he said.

“The role of the board is important for building North Queensland’s industry capacity because it will draw advice from industry leaders from the region, including those who have a firm understanding of the industry, its supply chain, and the Australian Defence Force’s capabilities and priorities.

“The board will provide advice and oversight of the establishment and implementation of the Townsville defence hub to identify practical solutions for accelerating the growth of the defence industry and overcoming any challenges along the way.”

The Palaszczuk Government established the board, along with a South Queensland board and an overarching Ministerial Defence Council, to enhance the government’s understanding of local-to-global defence industry needs, opportunities and challenges.

These initiatives will also assist to drive delivery of the government’s Queensland Defence Industries 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.

Chair of the North Queensland Defence Advisory Board, Ms Ranee Crosby, said North Queensland has many benefits that provide an incredibly competitive edge in building defence capacity.

“North Queensland has several strategic advantages such as its world-class sea and air ports, proximity to growing global markets such as the Asia-Pacific, and well-established defence assets and facilities such as the Lavarack Barracks, RAAF Base Scherger, HMAS Cairns, and training areas including Rockhampton’s Shoalwater Bay,” Ms Crosby said.

“The region has a strong base of skill and growing interest in the defence industry which provides opportunity to access some of the Federal Government’s almost $200 billion defence investment spend over the next 10 years, with some priorities capable of being serviced and sustained by businesses in North Queensland.”

Queensland Chief Strategic Defence Advisor and member of the Queensland Minister’s Advisory Council on Defence Industry and Jobs, Lt. Gen Peter Leahy (ret’d), said North Queensland was primed to be a defence industry powerhouse.

“The north’s capability to supply to Defence is immense, both in terms of what exists now and the potential for new businesses to enter those supply chains,” Lt. Gen Leahy said.

“I have no doubt that defence industries will be an important pillar of the north’s future economy, and I look forward to working with the community here to make that a reality.”

Find the Queensland Defence Industries 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan here:

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