Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, is today calling on the new Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull to make the signing of the Hawkei Contract one of his first acts.
Thales in Bendigo has developed and tested the next generation of light PMVs - the Hawkei. By selecting the Hawkei as the replacement for the Army's Land Rovers, the new Prime Minister has the opportunity to secure existing jobs and create new jobs in Australia's defence manufacturing industry.
"What we don't want to see is the new PM and his yet-to-be-named new Cabinet abandon these jobs, like Abbott and Co have abandoned jobs in the Australian shipbuilding industry."
"Maintaining a strong industrial base, including the skilled workers here in Bendigo, has important strategic implications for Australia, therefore, we must not allow this industry to die."
“Bendigo needs these jobs. There have been way too many local jobs lost on this Government’s watch. It’s time the Government stepped up to save local jobs before it’s too late.
“I fear that further delays may risk the shutdown of our Bendigo Thales manufacturing facility.
“My understanding is that a contract to manufacture the Hawkei needs to be signed as soon as possible in order to ensure the sustainability of the Bendigo facility.
“That’s why I am calling on the new Prime Minister to act now and sign this contact as soon as possible.
“We need the Department of Defence contract for 1300 Hawkei combat vehicles, under project LAND 121 Phase 4, to ensure that defence manufacturing continues in Bendigo well into the future.
“The importance of the Hawkei defence contract to Bendigo cannot be understated. This contact will also secure the many small to medium supply chain businesses and jobs.
“I call on the new Prime Minister and his yet-to-be-named Cabinet to commit today, to signing the Hawkei contract as soon as possible.” Ms Chesters said.