Regional Queensland businesses are expected to be among the beneficiaries of today’s announcement by the Federal Government that Rheinmetall Defence Australia is the successful tenderer for the LAND 400 Phase 2 contract.
The Government will spend $5.2 billion to acquire more than 200 Boxer CRV vehicles, which will replace the Army’s Australian Light Armoured Vehicle fleet.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia committed to establishing its Australia-New Zealand Headquarters and Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in south-east Queensland, building and providing support for up to 5000 military vehicles in Australia and the Asia Pacific.
State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said regional companies were also set to enjoy the rewards of a Queensland base for the German company.
“Last year Rheinmetall met with 211 companies in nine Queensland regional centres and have already announced teaming arrangements with four regional businesses and others in Brisbane,” he said.
“With over 100 of the new military vehicles to be based in Townsville and Enoggera, regional businesses will be able to capitalise on supply and support opportunities.”
Queensland companies already set to benefit include Redcat Industries from Cairns, Global Manufacturing Group from Maryborough, LaserDyne Technologies from the Gold Coast, and NIOA, G & O Kert and Hilton Manufacturing from Brisbane and Ipswich.
“This landmark project is an economic game-changer that will create 450 advanced manufacturing and engineering jobs for Queenslanders and pump $1 billion into the state’s economy in the first 10 years,” Mr Dick said.
The Federal Government is also spending about $235 million to upgrade facilities in Puckapunyal and Bandiana in Victoria, Adelaide, and Townsville and Enoggera in Queensland, where the vehicles will be used.
The Mount Isa rail line reopened to passenger and freight services between Townsville and Cloncurry on Sunday evening after flood waters receded, giving crews access to complete repair works.
However Queensland Rail chief executive officer Nick Easy said west of Cloncurry into Flynn Junction remains closed, with recovery efforts likely to take several more days as crews remained unable to safely access the section of the line for repair works due to water over both rail and roads
"In total, four sections of the line were damaged due to the severe weather, including the Duck Creek rail bridge, south-west of Cloncurry, which sustained significant damage, with portions of the bridge’s support washed away and in need of replacement," Mr Easy said.
"Queensland Rail continues to actively monitor the situation, and as soon as it is safe to do so, will deploy crews to conduct further inspection and repair works."
The annual Resource Industry Network (RIN) Safety Conference is still going strong almost a decade since its inception and this year it will again call on everyone to be ‘leaders in safety’.
The need to engage with your workforce and create a mentally healthy workplace will be a hot topic of discussion, conference organisers say.
“Safety is about leadership," RIN Health and Safety Committee chair Mick Crowe said.
"If you want to drive improvement in physical safety, connect better with your workforce, and learn practical skills that will teach you about major safety skills, the safety conference is a must-do event.”
One of the topics revolves around fatigue, with speakers including Mackay woman Dawn Deakin, who lost her husband Trevor in a car accident when he decided to drive home after a shift at the mines.
Her sobering story will be followed by a presentation on the impacts of fatigue for employees and businesses, with discussion of some key controls that can be implemented to manage risk of incidents and accidents.
It will be presented by CQUniversity's Deputy Dean of Research, School of Human Health and Social Sciences, Professor Sally Ferguson.
Other features of the Mackay conference include a panel discussion and Q&A session with senior business leaders from Ausenco, Aurizon and Realm Resources, as well as the practical breakout sessions from industry-leading experts.
The 2018 RIN Safety Conference will be held March 22-23 at the Breakwater Bar & Restaurant and Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre.
Townsville City Council has announced approval for the $250 million North Queensland Stadium, allowing work to ramp up.
The development approval includes a 25,000-seat stadium and entertainment facility – including 22,000 general admission seats and 3000 corporate seats – and commercial spaces for a bar, food outlets and offices.
It also includes upgrades to public spaces such as parks and sport and recreation areas.
“This is a key milestone for the project and it means major construction can start once early works are complete,” Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said.
“The stadium will revitalise the CBD and has already helped to attract the city’s first high-end hotel in decades, which will be built next door.
“Townsville is already seeing the economic benefits from the stadium and they will only increase as more jobs come online as construction ramps up.”
Early works on the stadium were carried out with an exemption under the Priority Development Area.
State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said the project so far had invested an estimated $27.9 million in local industry and engaged more than 238 companies in the extended supply chain.
“We have had 318 people inducted to site, 99 per cent living within North Queensland, and more local people are working on this iconic regional project as each new trade comes on,” he said.
Construction of the stadium is expected to employ more than 2000 people.
Four new mining leases covering 1249ha have been granted at Stanmore Coal’s Isaac Plains operation near Moranbah, allowing the miner to extend production by about seven years.
The leases cover the planned Isaac Plains East coal development, with JORC ROM reserves of more than 11 million tonnes to be processed using existing infrastructure.
Production is expected to begin early next year.
The area covered also includes part of the proposed Isaac Plains underground operation, which is the subject of a bankable feasibility study.
Mastermyne Group has been appointed as contract partner for the project under an early contractor involvement process.
The bankable feasibility study is expected to take 26 weeks and will focus on a model involving continuous miners, shuttle cars and mobile bolters.
“The proposed production plans and the successful progression of both projects allows Stanmore to take another significant step forward towards our objective of 3.5 Mt ROM for the complex over the next two years,” Stanmore managing director Dan Clifford said.
“The Isaac Plains East mining lease grant supports the continued direct employment of 210 people in the Moranbah district, provides approximately $75 million in State Royalties over the life of the operation, will provide numerous opportunities for local and regional small business and is a great outcome for Stanmore and all our stakeholders.”
Stanmore Coal re-opened the mine in mid-2016, after purchasing the mothballed site for $1 from its former operators, Brazil’s Vale and Japan’s Sumitomo. It produces mainly export metallurgical coal for steel production.
QRC data shows that in 2016-17, the coal industry contributed $37.8 billion to the state’s economy and supported 189,995 full time jobs.