Ipswich’s reputation as a thriving defence industry hub has been further enhanced after the first sod was turned on the site that will become the base of operations for Saab Australia in Queensland.
Saab Australia was awarded a $337 million contract with the Department of Defence last year to deliver cutting-edge deployable life-saving health equipment.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said Council is committed to working with international manufacturers to create jobs and support the Ipswich community.
“Our city has a deep connection to the Australian Defence Forces, from the thousands of livelihoods provided to the opportunities to serve alongside fellow community members,” Mayor Harding said.
“Council welcomes the Commonwealth Government’s partnership with Saab to support our defence personnel with cutting edge technology.”
“Initiatives to lead Queensland’s advanced manufacturing sector and keep locals employed are at home in Ipswich.”
Saab’s newest facility at Bundamba will deliver 150 new jobs during the construction phase, with 15 people employed at the facility once it is up and running.
The company joins the ranks of national and international manufacturers in Ipswich, including Rheinmetall, Boeing, TAE Aerospace, Viatris and Maxitrans.
This will increase to 40 during on-site medical training and operational testing phases.
Saab Australia Managing Director, Andy Keough, said the expansion marks both the continued growth of Saab’s national operations and the establishment of an increased presence in Queensland, contributing to the growth of the defence industry in the state and local Ipswich region.
“We are proud to be leading the provision of deployable health capability to the nation,” Mr Keough said.
“Our newest site will see the creation of a number of new Australian jobs, development of new infrastructure and further growth of the region’s defence industry.”
The purpose-built facility will include specialist medical technician facilities, maintenance workshops, training and storage facilities, as well as outdoor exercise space to enable the Australian Defence Force operational medical teams to gain familiarisation with equipment.
Saab Australia has signed a lease agreement with Australia’s largest private development company Walker Corporation to build the facility, on a site in the Citiswich Business Park, Bundamba over the next 12 months
The building is expected to become operational by mid-2022.
Walker Corporation Executive Chairman Lang Walker AO said Citiswich Business Park is continuing to attract top clients who want premium headquarters located in the logistics hub of Brisbane’s south-western corridor.
“The new Saab facility at Citiswich will house the best technology in Australian deployable health, in the middle of the new industrial heart of South-East Queensland, boosting the economy and bringing jobs for locals,” Mr Walker said.
“We are building a hub bigger than two football fields which will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making Citiswich the perfect location for Saab to deploy cutting-edge lifesaving health equipment.”