Queensland’s first Defence Industry Hub has officially opened in Ipswich, with the $5 million facility ready to recruit more businesses to the local defence supply chain.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the hub, located in the Ipswich CBD at Fire Station 101 on Limestone Street, will help grow Queensland’s defence industry and create more local jobs.
“We already have a significant defence industry supply chain established in the Ipswich region, but we want more small-to-medium enterprises to take advantage of the growing opportunities,” the Premier said.
“We’ve allocated $5 million to the hub so it can help local businesses get on the defence radar and be considered for contracts in areas like heavy vehicle manufacturing and maintenance, aerospace maintenance, and autonomous systems development.
“Ipswich is one of Queensland’s major locations for military and civilian defence activity, so there are plenty of opportunities.
“The city is home to the RAAF Base Amberley, Australia’s largest defence air base, while the $170 million MILVEHCOE being constructed at Redbank Plains will soon become a major manufacturing centre for armoured vehicles.
“Our aim is to have more than 10,000 defence jobs in Queensland by 2028, and the Ipswich Defence Industry Hub is going to help us reach that goal.”
Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said dedicated hub staff are in place to help more businesses become defence ready.
“The defence industry is one of the biggest employers in Ipswich, and this hub is going to ensure more local businesses are winning defence contracts and more local jobs are being created,” Mr Dick said.
“Through a targeted program of activities and workshops, hub staff will help local businesses understand defence industry requirements, supporting them as they expand their capabilities and bid for defence contracts.
“This is another important election commitment delivered by our government, to ensure we create more jobs in high-growth, high-value industries like defence.”
“It’s all part of our commitment to become the khaki capital of Australia.”
Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said the hub would immediately become central to the city’s job and business prospects.
“More than 10 per cent of all jobs in Ipswich are supported by the defence industry and its supply chain, so this hub is vital for our future.” Ms Howard said.
“Defence already generates $1.3 billion in export value for Ipswich, and we want to see that increase in the years ahead.”
Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden said the hub will further strengthen Ipswich’s position as the established southern gateway to Queensland’s defence industries.
“Whether that’s through heavy vehicle and aerospace manufacturing, maintenance, repair and overhaul, or autonomous technology development, we know we have the skills and talent locally to compete for work globally,” Mr Madden said.
Member for Jordan Charis Mullen said locating the new facility at the Ipswich Innovation Hub will encourage greater collaboration between businesses in the defence space and other industries.
“We want our investment to feed down the supply chain so a whole range of businesses in our region – manufacturing, technology, logistics – see the benefits of this hub,” Ms Mullen said.
Queensland’s globally respected TAE Aerospace recently expanded its Ipswich operations with a new jet engine maintenance facility at Bundamba.
TAE Aerospace CEO Andrew Sanderson said the hub will be a valuable resource for identifying opportunities and upskilling businesses to meet the expectations of the defence supply chain.
The hub is an initiative of the Palaszczuk Government’s Queensland Defence Industries 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.
Information on hub activities will be available via the Defence Jobs Queensland website.