29 February 2024

Today the Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters MP confirmed that there is an opportunity for Bendigo and local manufacturers to sustain and grow local jobs and defence manufacturing capabilities. 

Earlier today, the Albanese Government launched the Defence Industry Development Strategy. The Strategy outlines our plan to create a future made in Australia where our defence industry makes the critical capabilities necessary for our self-reliance and that makes us all more secure.

The Strategy also identifies sustainment and enhancement of the combined arms land system as a Sovereign Defence Industrial Priority, which is directly relevant to the manufacture and sustainment of land vehicles such as the Bushmaster in Bendigo.

The Albanese Government is fixing the mess left behind in Defence after almost a decade of waste and mismanagement under the Coalition.  

Australia’s defence industry supports over 100,000 jobs for Australians.

In 2022-23 over $20 billion of Defence acquisition and sustainment expenditure was spent in Australia—higher in both dollar and percentage terms than any year under the Coalition.

The Defence Industry Development Strategy sets out the pathway to achieving this, through detailed defence industry priorities, reforms to reduce the cost of doing business with Defence, a plan to grow the industry’s workforce and more classified briefings on Defence’s needs so industry can make informed investment decisions and prioritise the capabilities that are most relevant to the threats we face.

A copy of the Strategy and detailed annexes, and supporting factsheets, are available here.


“Last year the Government announced $160 million investment to manufacture an additional 78 Bushmasters in Bendigo, supporting well-paid, high skilled jobs for the city.

“Australia’s defence industry supports over 100,000 Australian jobs. It is an essential partner in keeping Australians safe at home, secure in the world and employed in well-paid, high skill jobs.

“This strategy will underpin essential reforms that will ensure that critical capabilities are provided to the men and women of the ADF as soon as possible, while also supporting an industry vital to our national security.

“I look forward to working with industry to implement the Defence Industry Development Strategy, and deliver an innovative, resilient and competitive Australian defence industrial base that creates a stronger, more secure Australia.”


"This announcement is a great opportunity for local defence manufacturers and workers.

"The cutting-edge protected mobility vehicle built in Bendigo, the Bushmaster, is one of Australia’s best defence industry and export success stories.

“Bendigo has a long relationship with Defence and a proud Defence manufacturing history.

“Today's announcement is an opportunity for the hardworking people of our Bendigo defence manufacturing industry."