ScoMo’s $5b ‘military jobs bonanza’ firing blanks

QUEENSLAND has been short-changed under a $5 billion tank building program after economic modelling revealed most of the jobs would be created interstate.

Labor Defence spokesman Richard Marles has seized on Morrison Government figures that reveal only 330 of the 1450 jobs created under the Land 400 Phase 2 project are set for Queensland despite German defence giant Rheinmetall building the vehicles near Ipswich.

On a visit to one of Rheinmetall’s Southeast Queensland facilities in August last year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “most” of the 1450 jobs from the project would be created in Queensland. Monday August 5, 2019. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)
On a visit to one of Rheinmetall’s Southeast Queensland facilities in August last year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “most” of the 1450 jobs from the project would be created in Queensland. Monday August 5, 2019. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

Last year, Mr Morrison told The Courier-Mail the project to build 211 Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles would create 1400 "real long-term jobs" with "most of these created in Queensland".

But questions are being raised about where Queensland's jobs bonanza has gone and if claims the state could become the "khaki state" with a huge defence manufacturing industry were premature.

But Labor Defence spokesman Richard Marles says economic modelling prove Mr Morrison’s claim was “marketing and spin”.
But Labor Defence spokesman Richard Marles says economic modelling prove Mr Morrison’s claim was “marketing and spin”.

Mr Marles said the "marketing and spin" from Coalition was a "broken promise to the people of Queensland".

"There was an expectation set by Scott Morrison and the LNP that Queensland would be getting the lion share of jobs from the LAND 400 Phase 2 contract," he said.

"They aren't getting anywhere near the jobs promised to them."

A defence spokesman said the jobs estimates did not include the supply chain and would be "updated over the life of the program".

"The modelling indicates that a peak of up to 1450 jobs, including an estimated peak of 330 jobs in Queensland, may be created across Australia during the life of the project," he said.

"The project is still early in its life and peak vehicle production will not be reached for a number of years."

The Australian Army’s unveiled the first of its Boxer vehicles built under the Land 400 Phase 2 project in Brisbane late last year.
The Australian Army’s unveiled the first of its Boxer vehicles built under the Land 400 Phase 2 project in Brisbane late last year.

However he failed to provide a detailed breakdown of where the other 1120 jobs would be created and why the Government claimed "most" of the jobs would be in Queensland.

He also did not explain why the Government was only estimating 330 jobs for Queensland when the State Government had consistently said 450 advanced manufacturing jobs would be created.

A spokeswoman for State Development and Manufacturing Minister Cameron Dick could not explain why the Morrison Government figure was 25 per cent lower that it's figure, which was based on guarantees from Rheinmetall and did not include the supply chain.

Rheinmetall recently finished construction of a $170 million factory at Redbank, with the company's managing director Gary Stewart saying more than 200 employees were keen to move into the new headquarters.

Rheinmetall is one of two companies short-listed for the $15 billion Land 400 Phase 3 contract to build another 400 army vehicles.



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