Holden Hill, South Australia
Thank you, Sir Angus Houston, for your introduction.
Let me begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet — the Kaurna people — and pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging.
I would like to acknowledge the:
- Premier of South Australia, Steven Marshall;
- Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment;
- James Stevens MP, Member for Sturt;
- My federal colleagues from the Senate;
- Chair of Rheinmetall Man military Vehicles, Mr Armin Papperger; and
- Mr Oscar Fioriotto, Supashock’s Founder and Managing Director.
It’s a pleasure to join you all today, and to be representing the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, who sends his greetings and his congratulations.
Now, while the Prime Minister can’t be here, I was thrilled to get the call — because there’s nothing I enjoy more than celebrating the milestones of Australia’s defence industry.
Today’s certainly one of those milestones.
I have the pleasure today to announce that Rheinmetall Defence Australia has confirmed supplier contracts, to the total value of $20 million, with seven Australian companies to supply and deliver products and services to the Land 400 Phase 2 and Land 121 Phase 3B/5B programs.
The seven Companies are:
- Melbourne-based Cablex providing specialist vehicle systems and cabling;
- Sydney-based Eylex supplying crew communications equipment;
- Melbourne-based Tectonica Australia providing night time driver aids;
- Brisbane-based ABI Coating Specialists providing specialist paint and finishing;
- Ballarat-based Bartlett supplying tarpaulins for selected vehicles;
- Newcastle-based Varley providing specialist modules; and
- Adelaide-based Supashock supplying spare wheel carriage systems.
I want to congratulation each of these companies, as well as, Supashock for being one of these seven Australian companies.
Supashock’s achievement together with the opening of its new headquarters — is far more than bricks and mortar.
This facility here at Supashock represents the expansion of ideas and innovation that will see the company continue to grow and support Australia’s vibrant defence industry.
Supashock is an outstanding example of a small, innovative Australian businesses.
Your growth trajectory — continually on the up — is the result of a talented, hard-working team of engineers and support staff …
… and, of course, the entrepreneurial approach of your founder, Oscar Fiorinotto.
I would also like to recognise the important contribution that the South Australian Government made towards today’s opening by supporting Supashock with $2 million awarded under the South Australian Government’s Future Jobs Fund and the Automotive Supplier Diversification Program.
Now I want to see more businesses like Supashock — as the Prime Minister often says, having a go and getting a go.
Small businesses are the backbone of the Australian economy — and they’re as much a part of our defence industry as Defence Primes.
Part of my role as Defence Industry Minister is to help strengthen the partnerships between major players and smaller enterprises so they can deliver the best capability for our Australian Defence Force.
And that brings me to Rheinmetall.
Today’s event is about more than the opening of a state-of-the-art building — it’s also a celebration of collaboration and partnerships.
Rheinmetall saw the potential of Supashock’s expertise in damping and suspension systems, and its application to Defence industry.
They wanted a partnership — and it is this partnership that has seen Supashock’s business model expand into the military vehicles industry.
The forward-looking approach of both Supashock and Rheinmetall shows what can be achieved when Defence industries collaborate …
… and how world-class innovation can lead to new markets.
On that point, the Defence Portfolio Investment Initiative is helping companies like Supashock to compete in the international marketplace.
For instance, Supashock’s damping and suspension systems have considerable application in the innovative autonomous car industry — and significant export potential.
What they are doing in this space is ground-breaking. And, importantly, it will see Supashock and Rheinmetall contend for the next tranche of German Army logistics trucks — that is, more than 2,000 vehicles with automated load handling.
Finally, let me stress that the Morrison Government is absolutely committed to supporting Australia’s defence industry – and we’re proving that commitment with our historic $200 billion investment in the sector.
The team here in Holden Hill are a shining example of how the investment in Defence major programs supports the development of new industry and small business.
Rheinmetall’s investment in Supashock is also creating new, advanced manufacturing jobs to meet the needs of Defence Industry.
These jobs will support Rheinmetall’s current programs and future opportunities — both domestically, and through the Global Supply Chain program for the international market.
This is a great story for Australia and for South Australia.
I, for one, look forward to playing my part to strengthen the partnerships between our small businesses and the bigger players so that the Australian Defence Force enjoys the very best capability Australia has to offer.
So congratulations, again, on these new headquarters — and for the wonderful work Supashock and Rheinmetall are doing together.
I look forward to following your continued growth and success.