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Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 31


Ms HENDERSON (Corangamite) (13:56): Today I raise serious concerns about the Andrews Labor government's decision to base the Land 400 project at Fishermans Bend in central Melbourne should Victoria win this lucrative defence contract. Nearly every state government has proposed an incentive package to lure the two down selected primes, BAE and Rheinmetall, to their state. For many months, I have called on the Victorian government to come up with an incentive package to match or better South Australia's $100 million offering. After Daniel Andrews committed to establishing a Victorian defence procurement office in Geelong, our region had high hopes that state Labor would seek to base significant Land 400 operations in our region as part of its bid to win this critical work for Victoria. By choosing Fishermans Bend, not only has Labor betrayed the people of Geelong and Corangamite but has tried to blame the two defence companies for this decision. Industry minister, Wade Noonan, misled Victorians when he wrongly claimed that this was a decision of BAE and Rheinmetall. Both companies have confirmed they are open to basing their operations in Geelong. This has damaged Victoria's standing. Where was the member for Corio in all of this? At Geelong's time of need, the shadow minister for defence was nowhere to be seen. His efforts to bring these jobs to Geelong can only be described as pathetic. As the member for Corangamite, I will keep on fighting for these jobs.