Saab Australia (Saab) turned the first sod on its Queensland expansion and the establishment of a significant facility at Citiswich that will become the base of operations for support of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) deployable health capability (DHC) program (JP2060).
Saab has signed a lease agreement with Australia’s largest private development company Walker Corporation, who will build the facility, on the site in the Citiswich Business Park in Bundamba over the next 12 months, becoming operational by mid-2022.
Citiswich is a premium industrial estate located in the logistics hub of Brisbane’s south-western corridor. The 350ha estate is Queensland’s largest industrial development, providing affordable, well-connected industrial land that caters for a wide range of industries including logistics, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, construction and wholesale retail companies.
Key to the estates appeal is its proximity and access to both existing and recently upgraded transport infrastructure. Located in the rapidly expanding western corridor between Brisbane and Ipswich, Citiswich is accessed via several points including the Warrego Highway from the north and Brisbane Road from the south, and features B-Double access throughout.
The regions $5 billion transport and service upgrades, including the now completed 4.6km Legacy Way connection, have brought Citiswich to life – slashing travel times to key centres such as the CBD, Brisbane Airport, the Port of Brisbane, north and south Gateway arterials and the TradeCoast Precinct.
Walker Corporation Executive Chairman Lang Walker AO said Citiswich Business Park is continuing to attract top clients who want premium headquarters located in the logistics hub of Brisbane’s south-western corridor. “The new Saab facility at Citiswich will house the best technology in Australian deployable health, in the middle of the new industrial heart of South-East Queensland, boosting the economy and bringing jobs for locals,” Mr Walker said.
“We are building a hub bigger than two football fields which will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making Citiswich the perfect location for Saab to deploy cutting-edge lifesaving health equipment.” “Citiswich Business Park continues to attract the best in business with its B-Double truck direct access to site, positioned at the crossroad of 3 national highways and just 25 minutes to the Brisbane CBD.”
Approximately 150 new jobs will be supported during the construction phase, with 15 people employed at the facility upon completion. This will increase to 40 during on-site medical technical training and operational testing phases.
Saab Australia Managing Director, Andy Keough, said that the expansion marks both the continued growth of Saab’s national operations and the establishment of an increased presence in Queensland, contributing to the growth of the defence industry in the state and local Ipswich region.
“We are proud to be leading the provision of DHC to the nation. Our newest site will see the creation of a number of new Australian jobs, development of new infrastructure and further growth of the region’s defence industry.”
“This is the first major milestone in Saab’s delivery of life-saving deployable military and humanitarian hospitals to support our Defence Force personnel. The program will not only save lives, but will support local businesses across the nation, boosting Australia’s sovereign defence capability,” Mr Keough said.
Following the $370M JP2060 contract signed with the Department of Defence last year, Saab’s newest facility will deliver and provide through life support to 550 deployable health modules, enabling the ADF to provide world-class clinical care. The purpose-built facility has been designed to include specialist medical technician facilities, maintenance workshops, training and storage facilities, as well as outdoor exercise space to enable the ADF operational medical teams to gain familiarisation with equipment.