A new $5 million Defence Industry Hub will be collocated alongside Ipswich innovators and entrepreneurs at a burgeoning innovation hub in the city’s CBD.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Fire Station 101, on Limestone Street, would be the location for the defence hub, set to open early next year.
“The Ipswich Defence Industry Hub is about ensuring there are even more jobs in more industries for the local community,” the Premier said.
Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said Ipswich is the southern gateway to Queensland’s defence enterprises.
“The Ipswich region is one of our state’s landmark locations for military and civilian defence activity,” Dick said.
“The city is home to RAAF Amberley, Australia’s largest defence air base, and the $170 million MILVEHCOE Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence, currently under construction at Redbank.
“We already have significant defence industry opportunities for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region and the new Defence Industry Hub will ensure there are even more on the way.
“A total of $5 million has been allocated to the Hub, to assist local industry tap into the rapid growth of the defence industries sector and other defence supply chain opportunities, such as heavy vehicle manufacturing and maintenance, aerospace maintenance and the development of trusted autonomous systems.
“Defence as a sector already generates more than $1.4 billion in export value to our local economy, and nearly 10 per cent of all employment in Ipswich is in the defence industry and associated supply chain,” Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said.
The Defence Industry Hub wil work with local council, industry representatives and business to attract and secure more work for locals. The Hub will have two staff dedicated to working with local industry to ensure businesses are ready to bid for defence contracts.
Queensland’s defence industries employ more than 6,500 people and generated an estimated $6.3 billion in revenue in 2015-16, according to Qld Government figures.