Ipswich to be defence capital of Australia
GERMAN-based company Rheinmetall has confirmed that if it wins the Federal Government contract for the supply of Army tanks under the initial $5 billion Land 400 tender, they will be built in the Ipswich suburb of Redbank.
A spokesman for Rheinmetall has confirmed Ipswich as the site in an interview on radio station 4BC.
Acting Mayor Paul Tully said that "if successful, this will be one of the biggest investments in the city's history and a major job generator for the city of Ipswich" and the greatest boost for the Ipswich region in decades.
Rheinmetall is delivering more than 2500 logistics trucks to the Australian Army under the LAND 121 Phase 3B program and is currently bidding for the supply of the armoured combat reconnaissance vehicle under the Land 400 Phase 2 program.
"This is one of the largest military investments ever proposed for the city of Ipswich," he said.
"The proposal for Redbank combined with the existing RAAF base at Amberley will make Ipswich the defence capital of Australia.
"I am throwing my one hundred percent support to bring this $5 billion project to Ipswich.
"It will be an enormous job generator for the city and will consolidate our position as the fastest-growing region in Queensland."
Cr Tully said the attractiveness of south-east Queensland combined with easy rail and road access made the Redbank site ideal.
"I welcome Rheinmetall to the Ipswich region and wish them strong support in their bid to win this historic contract," he said.
"It is the centre of military operations with the army well positioned in south-east Queensland.
"The Federal Government will be considering other proposals and a decision is not likely until 2018."
Cr Tully said Ipswich was well placed to support any new defence industries going forward and that new industries support job creation for a skilled local workforce.