PM opens military vehicle hub in Queensland

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has officially opened Rheinmetall’s $170 million Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILHEVCOE) at a ceremony at south west Brisbane facility.

ICN Queensland worked closely with Rheinmetall and Managing Contractor BESIX Watpac to ensure local suppliers could be involved in the construction and ongoing opportunities at MILVEHCOE, the German company’s largest operation outside its home country.

This included a joint industry briefing early in the project, with close to 300 people listening to presentations from ICN and BESIX Watpac and listing 68 work packages on ICN Gateway.

ICN Queensland consultant Abhiney Arora said 187 companies submitted 283 Expressions of Interest on Gateway.

“We put forward 761 companies to BESIX Watpac for consideration, including the 187 that submitted EOI as well as those we found through manual searches of our subscriber database.”

By late November 2020, 57 suppliers – including 52 from Queensland, 3 from Victoria and 1 each from New South Wales and South Australia – had won packages valued at more than $107 million.

Senior Project Manager with BESIX Watpac, David Tracey said the company chose to have all EOIs go through ICN’s “accessible project portal”. ICN also shortlisted those companies on behalf of BESIX Watpac.

“All cold calls were also funnelled through ICN consultants,” he said.

“It took a lot of load off our team and gave the market a focal point. Because it was so well advertised, everyone got an opportunity.

“This is one of the ways ICN, the Queensland Government and BESIX Watpac could ensure that people couldn’t come back and say they didn’t know about the job and didn’t get an opportunity.”

According to David, Watpac has had a “long and fruitful relationship with ICN”, including with MILVEHCOE and Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville.

“The real benefit, particularly on a regional or interstate project, is that the ICN are  the best single one-stop shop for local knowledge.

“The local network information, and the accuracy and currency of this information, is gold.”

The MILVEHCOE is an 11ha precinct incorporating a regional headquarters for Rheinmetall, as well as a major manufacturing hub that will deliver vehicles under both the Land 400 Phase 2 and e Land 121 Phase 3B/5B programs.

Speaking at the opening, the Prime Minister said MILVEHCOE was part of the Federal Government’s economic recovery plan to create jobs as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This Queensland centre will be where some of the most advanced armoured vehicles in the world will be produced, by Australian workers.”

“The MILVEHCOE will create more than 450 long-term jobs and become a national asset for military vehicles.”

ICN is also looking forward to work with Rheinmetall to maximise local opportunities for the LAND 400 Phase 2 program, which will see Rheinmetall deliver 211 8x8 Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) to the Australian Army. 

As part of their commitment to local industry, Rheinmetall will transfer technological know-how and provide training support to Australian industry.

This will help local suppliers build capabilities for the LAND 400 Phase 2 Acquisition Program, provide an Australian-based support for the Australian war fighter, and create a globally competitive industrial base.