Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has put forward the Latrobe Valley as an ideal location to manufacture a new fleet of combat vehicles for the Australian Army.
BAE Systems has been shortlisted to provide the first wave of 225 armoured reconnaissance vehicles under the Defence Department’s LAND 400 project.
Every Federal Coalition MP in Victoria has signed a joint letter encouraging BAE to select Victoria as the headquarters for the project if it is successful in winning the highly competitive contract.
Mr Chester went one step further, calling for BAE to set up a manufacturing base in the Latrobe Valley if it wins the project.
It is understood the project could generate up to 200 direct jobs and hundreds more in the wider supply chain.
“We have a growing reputation of success in the manufacturing sector and the Latrobe Valley has an existing workforce with a skill set well suited to this type of work,” Mr Chester said.
“I believe there is a place for the Latrobe Valley to play a greater role in the Defence supply chain and this would be an ideal project to bolster our region’s credentials.”
BAE’s key competitor for the work, Rheinmetall, has already announced it would base its operations in Queensland.