Victoria University students in Sunshine could have been forgiven for thinking they’d missed a proclamation of war last month when the defence force drove one of its top vehicles on to the campus.

The event was part of a business workshop to demonstrate the types of vehicles the state government is hoping to manufacture in Victoria.

On show at the Doing Business in Defence workshop was BAE Systems Australia’s state-of-the-art AMV35 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle, which the company is planning to build in either Melbourne or Brisbane.

Local MP Natalie Suleyman, on hand to inspect the combat vehicle, said winning the contract would be a boost for Victoria.

“We have a very proud defence industry in Victoria, and we want to give local businesses the best opportunity to secure contracts and create new jobs,” she said.

She said the project, LAND 400, was a perfect opportunity to harness Victoria’s “highly-skilled manufacturing workforce.”

The VU Sunshine workshop focussed on Victoria’s defence industry, opportunities to secure business in the defence supply chain and how to engage defence customers.

Should Victoria win the contract, the state government plans to build the vehicles at the former Holden site in Fisherman’s Bend.

The project could be worth about
$5 billion and is tipped create more than 2000 manufacturing and supply chain jobs.