AS Rheinmetall rolled into Rockhampton small local enterprises seized the possible opportunity to become part of the global military hardware manufacturer.
Forty local businesses gathered at the Rocky Showgrounds yesterday to witness the global brand's impressive BOXER CRV armoured military vehicle and how they could be involved in the world class brand.
This follows Rheinmetall's decision to select Queensland as the future site of their state of the art military centre delivering military vehicles to the Australian Defence Force.
The combat reconnaissance vehicle is currently under evaluation by the Commonwealth of Australia as part of Land 400 Phase 2 tender worth $5 billion.
Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne welcomed the 35-tonne modular vehicle saying the day was filled with opportunity for Central Queensland.
"Yesterday's visit was a chance for local industry leaders to find out how they can be part of the supply chain for one of the biggest advanced manufacturing programs ever to come to Queensland," he said.
"There is engineering excellence in Rockhampton and the city has strong links to the military so it is a good fit.
"It will be a tremendous boost for the local economy if some of that work can be located here.
Mr Byrne said the Palaszczuk Government was working hard to secure this bill which could provide hundreds of jobs if successful.
"If the Land 400 project bid is successful it could generate 450 long-term jobs and pump more than $1 billion into the state's economy over the next 10 years," he said.
"Rheinmetall has assured me this is not an academic exercise. The company understands that Rockhampton has an army heritage and is close to facilities like the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area that makes it an ideal location for parts manufacture and maintenance contracts."
Since September 1, the eight wheeled military vehicle has hit the road touring Queensland towns in a bid to scope out potential regions for branches of the global organisation.
The world-class vehicle is equipped with a 30mm cannon, 360 degree vision, automatic target recognition and ballistic armour.
With a versatile modular design, the vehicle can transform from a troop carrier to an ambulance in under 60 minutes.
It is designed to withstand a 10kg explosive device imitating an IED and will fully protect the soldiers inside.
Rheinmetall business development manager Tim Pickford said the road show was a means of engaging with local businesses and said a detailed one-on-one investigation of potential businesses was under way.
Over 50% of the Australian army is based a short one hour drive from Rockhampton and Mr Pickford said the appeal of Shoalwater Bay was significant.
"The Shoalwater Bay training area is one of the major training areas for the Australian army and if we are successful there will be hundreds of BOXER CRV vehicles going through the areas every year," he said.
"A level of support would therefore possibly be required from Rocky to sustain these vehicles."
Mr Pickford urged all Queenslander's to get behind the bill to ensure a bright economic future for the state.
The multi-billion dollar bill is in the hands of Federal Government and the winner will be announced in the first quarter of next year.