Chesters welcomes Thales contract

MEMBER for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, says Thales Australia’s recent contract announcement shows how Bendigo manufacturers can mix it on the world stage.

The Bendigo-based company signed a contract to supply 12 Bushmaster vehicles to the Jamaican Defence Force.

Thales has previously sold more than 80 Bushmasters to the Netherlands.

Ms Chesters said the contract was a huge tick of approval for Thales Bendigo.

“This is reward for the great job done by the men and women who work there,” she said.

“Bushmasters had a proven legacy for saving lives.

“About 1,000 Bushmasters have been built at the Bendigo plant and Defence sources say that these vehicles are responsible for saving around 300 lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“This new export contract reinforces Thales’ position as top of the field in defence manufacturing.”

Ms Chesters said Thales’ strong position on the export market was good news for Bendigo.

“Thales is an important part of the Bendigo economy,” she said.

“Contracts like this not only secure direct jobs at Thales and its suppliers, but for Bendigo’s economy as a whole, of which defence manufacturing is a major component.”

Ms Chesters said Federal Labor has consistently supported Thales Bendigo over the past decade.

“Ensuring that more manufacturing jobs will stay in the Bendigo region for many years to come is core Labor business,” she said.

“Labor has a proven track record of strong support for the locally built Bushmaster program, and will continue be a strong advocate for the company in the future.”