Assistant Minister for Defence Darren Chester has welcomed today’s announcement the Australian Government will buy 1100 Bendigo-built Hawkei protected vehicles and over 1000 trailers.
Mr Chester said the $1.3 billion Project LAND 121 Phase 4 contract would provide a much-welcomed boost to regional employment.
He said it would also promote confidence throughout regional Australia by showing local towns could secure major defence contracts.
“Thales has a proud reputation of building high-quality products, like the Bushmaster, which have protected Australian service men and women in overseas conflicts,” Mr Chester said.
“The new Hawkei vehicle will give our Defence Force personnel added confidence as they undertake critical missions in high-risk areas.”
About 170 jobs are expected to be created in Bendigo, and a further 60 jobs throughout Victoria.
Bendigo-based Senator Bridget McKenzie said the flow-on benefits from the contract would extend beyond Bendigo.
“I have regularly visited Thales and met with staff and senior management and they are justifiably proud of the products they build right here in Bendigo,” Senator McKenzie said.
“I would like to thank the Prime Minister and Minister for Defence for having the confidence in our local product and ensuring ADF personnel will be protected by a Bendigo-made vehicle as they represent our nation’s interests.”
Mr Chester’s office: (03) 5144 6744
Senator McKenzie’s office: (03) 5441 4251