Townsville manufacturer driving to new digs to expand capacity

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water The Honourable Glenn Butcher

Townsville vehicle manufacturer Australian Engineering Professionals is expanding and has moved into new facilities following thanks to support from the Palaszczuk Government

AEP – parent to Australian Expedition Vehicles and Australian Patrol Vehicles – received support through the Townsville Regional Manufacturing Hub, including a grant of more than $125,000 for new equipment.

Minister for Resources and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart congratulated AEP for embracing advanced manufacturing technology to grow the business and create new local jobs.

“Expanding the capability of our manufacturing industry is a key part of our economic recovery plan from COVID-19,” Mr Stewart said.

“AEP is a fantastic success story in Townsville after receiving a grant of about $125,000 as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program.

“I also know how important the Townsville Manufacturing Hub has been for AEP.

“The hub supports and connects businesses like AEP and allows them to grow and prosper in Townsville.”

Mr Stewart said there were great opportunities for the resources industry to connect with manufacturers like AEP who were based locally in North Queensland.

“The resources industry is continuing to grow and having this manufacturing expertise in Townsville will only help the entire industry,” he said.

The new workshop facility is significantly larger than the previous one and will help the team develop distinct manufacturing flows for their defence, METS (mining and engineering technical services) and private vehicle conversion customers.

AEP Managing Director Michael McMillan said the new facility increased capacity significantly.

“Being in this new, 2000sqm space means we can have all facilities for manufacturing on one site, from mechanical modifications through to bespoke manufacturing and an on-site paint booth,” he said.

“This workshop comes with two overhead five-tonne gantry cranes, which will increase our capability.”

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing said the Townsville Regional Manufacturing Hub has supported AEP since June 2019.

“This is another success story from the Palaszczuk Government’s $38.5 million investment in Regional Manufacturing Hubs around the state,” Mr Butcher said.

“The team in Townsville have been working with the business to become capable of successfully securing defence contracts and, in the process, helping the business grow from three to 31 staff.

“In addition, experts from the government’s manufacturing team have analysed AEP’s processes and helped them to secure federal funding allowing them to purchase critical equipment enabling them to produce prototype vehicles for the Australian Defence Force.

“It is also expected that AEP will engage with two other regional manufacturers in north Queensland, developing a regional defence manufacturing supply chain.

“AEP is now better placed to grow its client base, retaining its original smaller workshop to service private customers for mechanical servicing jobs, and using its new, larger facility to service clients such as the ADF.”

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