THE multibillion-dollar Land 400 deal looks set to catapult the Ipswich community into the forefront of Australia's defence industry, with business leaders confident the region will reap the economic benefits.

Both the State and Federal governments have hailed the $5 billion contract - that will see Rheinmetall build 211 state-of-the-art combat reconnaissance vehicles in the city - as being a jobs bonanza across the state.

Rheinmetall in-service support manager Peter Franck said the contract would expand the size of the company's department and the scope of its support.

"It's not just the engineering side and production side, but it's also the service support side," he said.

"It's one of the biggest ­contracts that's ever been awarded in Australia (to Rheinmetall)."

Mr Franck said the expansion would draw on locals.

"We will train those people up," he said.

Brisbane-based company IntelliDesign has been short-listed by Rheinmetall to ­undertake the project's electronic hardware design and manufacturing.

IntelliDesign’s Frank Harrington and Matt Bromwich, Rheinmetall’s Rebecca Hillis, Queens Park Cafe’s Jessica Hobart and Rheinmetall’s Peter Franck in Ipswich.
IntelliDesign’s Frank Harrington and Matt Bromwich, Rheinmetall’s Rebecca Hillis, Queens Park Cafe’s Jessica Hobart and Rheinmetall’s Peter Franck in Ipswich.

Chief executive Matt Bromwich said while the company had not signed a contract, it was looking positive.

"We have about 70 staff split between hardware design and the manufacturing," Mr Bromwich said.

However he said that, if successful, the business would double in size over the next five years.

"It's certainly long-term, and that's important for us," he said.

Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said the council would work with the Department of State Development to ensure the region benefited from future export opportunities.

"It means an enormous boost to our community," he said.

Ipswich Chamber of Commerce president Phillip Bell said the announcement gave a strong message that the region could deliver.

"The flow-on effects are terrific," he said.

"Ipswich remains a very low-cost region to live and work in, in terms of housing and affordability.

"Those 450 jobs will support families. It's cause for significant optimism."



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