The Morrison Government has officially opened Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Queensland, which will see hundreds of long-term jobs created for Queensland workers.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the new defence industry facility in Redbank is part of the Economic Recovery Plan to create jobs as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Rheinmetall will use the MILVEHCOE facility to build and assemble the majority of Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles, which are being delivered to the Australian Army under the $5 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 project. The facility will also be used to conduct integration, support and heavy grade repair for the logistics trucks and modules being delivered under the LAND 121 Phase 3B and 5B projects.

“We are committed to keeping Australians safe, while protecting the nation’s interests in a rapidly changing global environment,” the Prime Minister said. This week’s budget has seen the Federal Government bring forward $1 billion worth of capability projects and reservist days to support jobs, the Australian defence industry and the wider economy.”

“The MILVEHCOE will create more than 450 long-term jobs and become a national asset for military vehicles. Defence is one of six priority areas under our $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy and is backed by measures from Tuesday’s budget. This includes the JobMaker hiring credits to boost employment, a $2.8 billion programme to support apprenticeship and trainee jobs through wage subsidies and tax incentives so businesses can deduct the full cost of any eligible assets and to offset loss against previous profits, for businesses with a turnover of under $5 billion.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the vehicles from MILVEHCOE represent a new level of capability for the Army. “As outlined in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, the Boxer will provide enhanced mobility, firepower, protection and situational awareness to our troops,” Minister Reynolds said. They will allow our Australian Defence Force personnel to rapidly deploy, achieve their missions and importantly, return home safely. I join the Prime Minister in congratulating Rheinmetall Defence Australia on securing new export opportunities. A resilient and internationally competitive defence industry is essential to Australia’s national security.”

Minister for Defence Industry, Hon Melissa Price said MILVEHCOE represented a watershed in Defence self-reliance, backed by a secure domestic supply chain provided by home-grown Australian businesses. “Australian industry will play a vital role delivering and sustaining key Australian defence capabilities at the facility,” Minister Price said. Rheinmetall will use suppliers across Australia to design, build, assemble, test and support the Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles and training systems.”