A former Burnett Shire mayor says Bundaberg has all the credentials to manufacture tanks.
A former Burnett Shire mayor says Bundaberg has all the credentials to manufacture tanks. Jay Cronan

BUILD THEM IN BUNDY: Tank mission in sight for region

TWO companies vying for a multi-billion-dollar defence contract should look no further than the Bundaberg region to base its operations, says a former mayor.

Queensland is fighting Victoria to secure a $5 billion tank-building project.

Rheinmetall Defence Australia and BAE Systems Australia are battling for the Federal Government's $5 billion contract to build the war machines.

The Land 400 is one of the Australian Defence Department's largest projects in its history and would guarantee jobs and a solid manufacturing supply line for the next three decades.

Former Burnett Shire mayor Ray Duffy is calling for the building of the 225 state-of-the-art combat reconnaissance vehicles to be carried out in the Bundaberg region, and wants all levels of government, media and the community at large to campaign strongly for the project.

He says the recently declared State Development Area near the Port of Bundaberg would be ideal.

In a letter to the NewsMail, Mr Duffy said the Bundaberg region was home to the "largest 'green-field' site available in Queensland, with industrial electricity supply, ample water supply (and) port facilities".

"Let's build these combat reconnaissance vehicles here in Bundaberg," Mr Duffy said.

Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said opportunities like this were exactly why the State Development Area was established.

"As the Premier said last week, the Palaszczuk Government is already in full battle mode to secure an Australian Defence Force contract for new armoured vehicles to build and maintain vehicles in Queensland," she said.

"We have been engaging for a long time with the two companies, Rheinmetall and BAE, who have been shortlisted by the Federal Government for the Land 400 contract.

"Like the Maroons, we need to put aside any other loyalties we have to work together."


Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt.
Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt. Mike Knott BUN160517SHADE2

Pitt on the project

MEMBER for Hinkler Keith Pitt has united with his Federal Queensland MPs and senators to form a powerful bloc to secure the Land 400 project for Queensland.

Coalition colleagues have cast aside any personal tensions to write to Rheinmetall Defence Australia and BAE Systems Australia to convince the companies of the benefits of bringing the $5 billion project to Queensland.

Mr Pitt said as a member of the executive, he was unable to comment on the "specifics of what will be a large procurement for the Department of Defence".

But he was hopeful the group had swayed the decision Queensland's way.

"I've been fighting for this project for some time, alongside my federal Queensland colleagues," Mr Pitt said.

"The 26 Queensland MPs and Senators have written to Rheinmetall Defence Australia and BAE Systems Australia to highlight the benefits of Queensland for the project.

"I am supportive of the project coming to Queensland."