Land400 bidder eyes Geelong: MP

AT LEAST one manufacturing consortium will come to Geelong if it wins the lucrative Land400 defence tender, MP Sarah Henderson told parliament today.
“It is also focused on delivering a very high percentage of Australian industry content which of course is a very important priority for our government,” Ms Henderson.
“That means more jobs for local workers and more opportunities for businesses and the extended supply chain.”
The Corangamite MHR demanded the State Government provide an incentive package to drive Land 400 potential investor interest in Geelong.
This follows recent criticism by opposition leader Matthew Guy who told the Independent the Andrews Government had abandoned Geelong, providing its L400 no more help than “a shingle on a door” at Deakin University.
The same criticism was levelled at Spring Street last month when Geelong’s bid was labelled a “laughing stock” that was $100 million behind South Australia’s bid and the State Government slammed by mayor Darryn Lyons and key Land 400 bidder for posting zero incentives to host any of the $10 billion of army contracts up for grabs.
Ms Henderson today described the Land 400 combat vehicle defence project as one of the most significant defence contracts in a generation.
“In contrast to South Australia, our region-the great Geelong and Corangamite regions-offers many existing manufacturing facilities which could be re-purposed for part of the manufacture, assembly and maintenance of the estimated 225 armoured fighting vehicles which will be delivered under the LAND 400 contract,” she said.
“With Deakin University, the Geelong port, Avalon Airport, the Point Wilson defence facility and existing roads and rail freight infrastructure, our region has so much to offer. We also have the advanced manufacturing skills and capability.”
“That is why it is so critical that this State Labor government deliver an incentives package to drive these companies.
“It is incredibly disappointing, in contrast to the $100 million incentive package that’s been proposed by the South Australian government, that we have heard absolute silence from Daniel Andrews on such an important project.
“For many months, I have been calling on state Labor: ‘Do the right thing, deliver this incentives package’. It might include payroll and other tax concessions, fast tracking of planning approvals, the provision of manufacturing infrastructure-a range of different things the State Government can do.”