Crew Commander Lance Corporal Andrew Jackson of 2 Cavalry Regiment in Darwin guides an Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) onto a flatbed truck prior to transport from Defence Service Group to Rockhampton.
Crew Commander Lance Corporal Andrew Jackson of 2 Cavalry Regiment in Darwin guides an Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) onto a flatbed truck prior to transport from Defence Service Group to Rockhampton.

Advisor puts Rocky on radar for defence specialist's new regional HQ

ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council will turn to its defence advisor Graeme Mickelberg in a bid to get a global military specialist to set up its regional headquarters in Central Queensland.

Mayor Margaret Strelow said Mr Mickelberg, a former Lieutenant Colonel, had played a significant role in building council's relationship with Rheinmetall.

The company is one of two chosen by the Department of Defence to bid to develop the next generation of armoured fighting vehicles.

READ: Next step taken in putting Rockhampton on military map.

OPINION: Defence is key to Central Queensland's growth.

The LAND 400 Phase 2 project is worth up to $5 billion and is expected to deliver more than 250 highly-skilled, long-term jobs. The other company vying for the contract is BAE Systems.

On Friday, Rheinmetall announced it had short-listed Queensland and Victoria as potential locations for its regional headquarters, from which it will base a military vehicle centre of excellence to design, build and support up to 10,000 military vehicles in the Asia Pacific.

Defence is one of Rockhampton Regional Council's 10 key areas of opportunity identified in the Advance Rockhampton Economic Action Plan.

Mayor Strelow said council was committed to actively pursuing Rheinmetall and any related opportunities.

Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Margaret Strelow.
Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Margaret Strelow. Contributed

"Council has engaged at various levels with Rheinmetall since 2010 and we have tracked their growth and interest in Australia,” Cr Strelow said.

"They are providers of some significance to the Singapore military and they are familiar with our capability already.

"We have found from experience that Defence is a complex beast and we have retained the services of a specialist with a military background to make sure we get it right.

"Our defence advisor Graeme Mickelberg has played a significant role in council's relationship with Rheinmetall and I expect he will take the lead in this new engagement.”

Mr Mickelberg is a former Australian Army career officer, who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after service in Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Germany, UK, Canada and USA.

During his military service he was personally responsible for leading planning teams on sensitive missions to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Indonesia.

On leaving the military he established a consultancy company, Hydra Enterprises Pty Ltd, and consults at board and CEO levels for a number of organisations including the Queensland Government, councils and multi-national companies.

Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham said the Queensland Government had been working closely with Rheinmetall.

Dr Anthony Lynham.
Dr Anthony Lynham. Katherine Morris

"Queensland is home to the largest concentration of Australian Army personnel and assets, and offers unmatched heavy vehicle manufacturing capability,” he said.



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