Thales Propeller Opening

A restored warship propeller blade made at the Thales site in the 1980s will be official unveiled at the newly-refurbished Bendigo RSL at 11am on Wednesday, April 2.

The blade takes pride of place in the foyer of the RSL.

Lisa Chesters MP, representatives from Bendigo RSL and Thales, and former Thales employees who worked on the propeller blade project will all be present at the opening.

Ms Chesters said the propeller was evidence of Bendigo’s long association with defence manufacturing.

“Defence manufacturing in Bendigo certainly has a proud history and, we hope, a promising and successful future,” she said.

“We need the Department of Defence contract for 1300 Hawkei combat vehicles to continue this legacy of defence manufacturing in Bendigo well into the future.

“The importance of the Hawkei defence contract to Bendigo is huge.”

Bendigo RSL president Cliff Richards said the propeller blade was an example of advanced engineering.

“Bendigo has produced equipment and vehicles for the Defence Department with skill and ingenuity for decades.

“I know from my role the amount of people that have been employed at the Thales site, formally Australian Defence Industries and the Bendigo Ordnance Factory, over the years.

“It has been an important part of Bendigo’s manufacturing history.

“We hope Bendigo Thales continues to produce high-quality defence products long into the future.”