Australian government will create 80 new jobs in the NSW Hunter region by signing a $41 million contract with a local company that will strengthen the Australian Defence Force’s deployable infrastructure capability.

Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said the contract signing with Varley, based in Tomago in NSW, secured critical upgrades that would support Defence personnel while on operations. The contract is part of a wider $89 million investment in the ADF’s deployable infrastructure capability that will also create another 25 jobs in Queensland. The ADF uses deployable infrastructure for a range of operations, including during conflicts and disaster relief. The government’s investment will include upgrades to power generation, hygiene and essential catering, and the acquisition of new kennels for military working dogs.

“This investment will significantly upgrade capability and enhance the ADF’s ability to deploy rapidly on a wide range of operations, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts, both domestically and internationally,” Dutton said. “We are committed to protecting our nation by equipping the ADF with modern capabilities to best meet future challenges. Sovereign defence manufacturing is a critical part of the Government’s commitment to keeping our region safe, while protecting our national and strategic interests in a rapidly changing global environment.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the government was focused on supporting investment in Australian industry capability. “This contract with Varley is critical to the delivery of these key systems to support our ADF,” Price said. “To see 80 new jobs in the Hunter region, specifically from this initiative, is a profound confirmation of the direction we have been taking in regards to a robust, self-reliant defence industry – right here in our own backyard. The acquisition and sustainment of these systems will create significant work for Australian businesses across the nation. I’m proud of the positive impacts that this $41 million contract and the wider $89 million acquisition investment in Australia’s defence capability is bringing to Australian industry. This investment highlights the broad and varied support that Australian industry can provide and guarantees the development of key industries in Australia into the future.”

Senator for New South Wales Hollie Hughes welcomed the investment in Varley, one of the Hunter Region’s most long-established advanced engineering and manufacturing companies. “Creation of jobs at any time is important, but none more so than now as we support our deployable infrastructure initiatives and support those working so hard to keep us safe,” Hughes said.

Senator for New South Wales Jim Molan said the investment in Varley would promote the growth of skilled jobs in regional NSW, while enhancing the nation’s sovereign defence capability. “Defence is an important industry to the Hunter and provides significant opportunities for local businesses to expand as our regional economy continues to grow,” Molan said. “This is a big win for skilled jobs in the Hunter, with 80 jobs supporting local workers and their families.”

Australian industry will contribute to the project management, systems engineering, manufacture, modification, technical documentation, logistics and training elements of the project, and local networks and distributors will be used for the supply of sub-systems and components.

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