The state government’s economic development department believes that a major defence contract, one with the potential to create dozens of jobs in Ararat, is due to be awarded soon.
BAE Systems Australia has placed a Melbourne-based bid for the Australian Defence Force’s LAND 400 project for a new generation of armoured vehicles.
The federal government is evaluating bids for the program’s $5 billion phase 2.
If BAE’s 30-tonne, eight-wheel-drive AMV35 model is chosen over a rival bid from Queensland-based Rheinmetall, then Ararat’s AME Systems is in line for subcontract work.
BAE intends to have AME Systems to provide up to $20 million in electrical wiring, creating 15 to 20 new jobs with the posibility of more in the future.
Victorian Trade and Investment Minister Philip Dalidakis has used regional employment, including in Ararat, as part of its final sales pitch for the project.
“We have put our strongest possible case forward showing why Victoria should be the home for LAND 400 and why we are the home of military vehicle manufacturing,” he said.
“The decision on the successful tenderer for LAND 400 Phase 2 now rests with the Commonwealth government.
“We anticipate being advised of the outcome any day now and call on all Victorians and politicians of every stripe to back regional Victoria and regional Victorian workers for this bid.”
Along with the Victoria’s manufacturing base and graduate output, the state government’s sale pitch emphasized regional employment.
“Ararat’s AME Systems is one of BAE Systems’ supply chain companies that will build components for the new Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles,” the document stated.
“AME Systems would manufacture cables and harnesses for the state-of-the-art land military vehicles.”
The majority of the AMV35 work would be in Melbourne.