The Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert MP, together with the Federal Member for Corangamite, Sarah Henderson MP, spent the day touring Geelong and speaking to local business and community leaders about Army’s LAND 400 Combat Vehicle program.
Mr Robert’s tour of Geelong comes after meeting with Ms Henderson and Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons in Canberra on 13 February 2014 to discuss Army’s multi-billion dollar LAND 400 program.
“It is an absolute pleasure to be in Geelong with Sarah to talk with local leaders and industry representatives about Army’s LAND 400 Combat Vehicle program and the potential manufacturing opportunities it could bring to the Geelong region,” Mr Robert said.
“The LAND 400 program is the Australian Army’s largest, most expensive and most complex combat vehicle program and will provide Army with an essential capability for future land operations.”
LAND 400 will allow for the retirement of Australia’s current armoured vehicles including the Australian-Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) and the armoured personnel carriers (M113-AS4) in line with their expected Life of Type, as well as providing new armoured manoeuvre support vehicles.
These new vehicles will provide the Army with precision firepower capabilities while providing high levels of survivability and tactical mobility.
Ms Henderson said the visit provided a fantastic boost to Geelong’s campaign to be considered a key location for the multi-billion-dollar contract to build the next-generation of Army combat vehicles.
“Today’s visit by the Assistant Minister for Defence included a briefing to local industry and community leaders on the LAND 400 program. I am certain this has helped to galvanise local support for the program coming to Geelong,” Ms Henderson said.
“While a decision on the awarding of contracts is a number of years away, the hard work must begin now if Geelong is to be successful in its bid for this significant, multi-billion dollar project.”
Mr Robert said the Australian Government committed to working with defence industry to build a strong, capable and sustainable Australian Defence Force.
“We are also committed to ensuring Australian industry opportunities are maximised under this important project,” Mr Robert said.
Richard Briedis (Minister Robert’s Office) 0477 391 174
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999