Murarrie’s Cyborg Dynamics Engineering awarded $3.3 million boost in pursuit of Aussie first

The Morrison Government has awarded a $3.3 million contract to Murarrie based robotics and AI company Cyborg Dynamics Engineering to develop an unmanned combat vehicle; the likes of which have never been made in Australia.

The contract is the company’s first with the Defence Innovation Hub and will secure 20 local jobs.

Visiting the Cyborg Dynamics HQ, Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said he was proud to award them this significant investment to develop their semi-autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV).

“Queensland is once again proving how it is at the forefront of strengthening Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities and what’s more is that ground-breaking work is happening right here in Bonner,” Mr Vasta said.

“Cyborg Dynamics are developing first-of-its kind innovations, integrating an array of supporting Australian technologies into a modular, robotic platform, which if successful, could enhance the load carriage, fire support capabilities and protection of dismounted soldiers.

“This is a major win for Bonner and one which demonstrates how investing in our defence industry is a key priority of the Morrison Government to keep Australians safe, whilst also enabling more local jobs and supporting businesses right across the supply chain.”

Cyborg Dynamics’ innovation will also explore on-board AI target recognition and advanced driving technologies that could allow for single person operation.

This would enable the all-terrain platform to improve in-field soldier capabilities and lethality, ultimately reducing operator risk by providing a robotic-assisted force.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said, “The Morrison Government invests in Australian businesses like Cyborg Dynamics because we understand that truly cutting-edge innovation could provide leading capabilities and better protection for the Australian Defence Force,” Minister Price said.

“The Government’s investment in innovation through the Defence Innovation Hub is critical to ensuring Defence maintains a capability advantage as Australia’s strategic environment continues to rapidly evolve,” Minister Price said.

Industry and research organisations can submit innovation proposals through the Defence Innovation Portal at:

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PRIVATE MEMBERS BILL: Australia’s Defence Capability

Mr Speaker, I rise today to speak about the Morrison Government’s $270 billion investment into Australia’s Defence Capability.

Mr Speaker, not only do I support this bill, I applaud this bill!

We are living in increasingly uncertain times, both at home and abroad.

Australia should and must always prioritise its own interests.

And that is exactly Mr Speaker what the Morrison Government is doing.

We are ensuring the men and women of the Australian Defence Force have the capability they need to keep Australians safe and secure.

Currently, 15,000 businesses and 70,000 Australians are employed in our Defence industry.

These numbers will increase thanks to our $270 billion plan.

It will create new jobs for skilled workers and investment in our local communities over the coming decade and beyond.

Mr Speaker, it is more important than ever we are keeping Australians in work.

Queensland is headed towards being Australia’s front line for Defence industry and that’s thanks to the Morrison Government’s ongoing commitment to Australia’s Defence capability.

Our Government is investing in growing Queensland’s Defence capability; supporting Queensland’s small businesses and enabling thousands of jobs.

Mr Speaker, North Queensland has an established Defence industry.

This is Member for Herbert, Phillip Thompson’s patch.

It is gold standard and an example of what can be achieved.

Townsville has a long and proud role at the core of our nation’s Defence.

It is Australia’s largest garrison city.

Our plan will help strengthen Townsville’s Defence strategy over the decades to come.

We are committing $31 million in the delivery of a new, three-storey Armoured Vehicle Simulation Centre in Townsville.

This equates to 110 local jobs.

Jobs that are crucial in keeping Australians safe.

As part of this plan, Queensland also welcomes the first of the fleet of new Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles.

It enables the delivery of 211 Boxer CRV’s creating 330 local jobs in Queensland.

Mr Speaker, our plan benefits both the state of Queensland and my electorate of Bonner.

Mr Speaker, Bonner is home to successful Defence contracts critical to building up our local industry.

In 2019, Skyborne Technologies based in Murarrie was awarded a $463,000 grant by the Morrison Government to enhance manufacturing capability and further research into Artificial Intelligence.

They are making their mark on Australia’s Defence industry through the development of armoured drones.

Mr Speaker, Bonner is also home to Tingalpa based Defence manufacturer Ferra Engineering, who in late 2020 were awarded a Defence Global Competiveness Grant of $127,000 to enhance export manufacturing capability.

Ferra Engineering are one of Australia’s largest independently owned technology companies serving the aerospace and Defence industries.

Mr Speaker, the Morrison Government is creating the environment for Australian businesses to thrive.

I recently visited Crystal Aid’s headquarters in Tingalpa who are undertaking incredible work specialising in Defence, medical and aerospace industries.

I was excited to congratulate them on being one of six Australian small businesses who were awarded $207,000 in Morrison Government grants designed to boost their export potential.

Bonner is going from strength to strength when it comes to Defence.

Mr Speaker, small business is the backbone of our economy.

Our Government is enabling small business to be front and centre of Defence capability and infrastructure.

Mr Speaker, next week Land Forces which is a premier international land Defence exposition is taking place in Queensland.

It will showcase equipment, technology and services for the armies of Australia and the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

Under the Morrison Government, Queensland has an exciting and young Defence industry base.

For this event to go ahead, it’s clear there is confidence in the Queensland Defence industry.

The Morrison Government is getting on with the job of delivering for Defence and our Defence industry.

Mr Speaker, compare this to the previous Labor Government who sat idle for six years.

Labor gutted $18 billion from the Defence Budget. $18 billion Mr Speaker!

Labor did not commission a single Australian built ship.

Whereas the Morrison Government is creating at least 15,000 jobs in Australian Defence shipbuilding.

It’s not enough to just talk about the Defence of our nation.

You need a plan, and you need to execute and invest in that plan.

And that Mr Speaker, is how the Morrison Government is building the strongest Defence industry the country has ever seen.

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Morrison Government’s Defence Strategy delivers jobs and investment to Queensland

The Morrison Government’s updated Defence Strategy and ongoing commitment to maximising Australian industry involvement in Defence capability projects will create new jobs and investment in Queensland over the coming decade and beyond.

As detailed in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan released by Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP and Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC today, the Government will invest a record $270 billion in Defence capability and infrastructure over the next decade across Australia.

Through this Plan, there will be a $3 billion investment over the coming decade into the refresh and redevelopment of Defence facilities in Queensland including:

  • Southern Queensland sites including Gallipoli Barracks (Enoggera), Swartz Barracks (Oakey), Borneo Barracks (Cabarlah), Kokoda Barracks (Canungra) and RAAF Base Amberley; and
  • Northern Queensland sites including Lavarack Barracks (Townsville), RAAF Base Townsville, RAAF Base Scherger; HMAS Cairns; and Shoalwater Bay and Townsville Field training areas.

Local industry involvement in the delivery of these projects will be maximised through this Government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said this would ensure local suppliers, contractors and tradies had the opportunity to secure more of this work, creating more jobs for local communities in Queensland.

This investment comes on top of the Government’s significant investment in building and sustaining Australian Defence Force capability in Queensland.

Over the 12 months to March 2020, Defence has invested around $3 billion in Queensland. Examples of key programs and activities in Queensland include:

  • The supply of medium and heavy trailers to support Army’s field vehicles providing around 95 jobs
  • Satellite ground station delivery planning and management and planning for Defence operations maintaining around 20 highly skilled jobs
  • The provision of tactical communications networks for the Army supporting around 245 jobs
  • The sustainment of hydrographic ships and associated vessels at facilities in Cairns supporting approximately 120 jobs
  • Support, maintenance and training services for Army’s rotary fleet at Oakey supporting around 175 jobs
  • Sustainment management of the KC-30 air-to-air efueling capability supporting around 270 jobs
  • Maintenance and upgrades of the Australian-built Bushmaster providing around 80 jobs to ensure ADF personnel are protected against explosive and ballistic threats on the battlefield.

Significantly, the Morrison Government is investing $5.2 billion to deliver, 211 Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles, 186 of which will be built in South East Queensland.

Today, Queensland is home to around 28,000 Defence personnel, including ADF permanent and reserve members and Australian Public Service employees. This number is forecasted to grow over the coming years.

The policies and investment in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan will make the ADF more capable for the wide range of scenarios Australia will face in the future, more agile to rapid changes, and more potent if a situation should call for it.

What is more, much of this investment in Australia’s defence capabilities will go directly to Australian industry, creating jobs and skills. This Government’s investment in defence capability is already benefitting around 15,000 Australian businesses, who support around 70,000 Australian workers. These numbers are set to increase in line with these new opportunities for Australian industry.

This is a comprehensive plan to further build the resilience, agility and capability of the ADF, and create a more secure and safe Australia. The people of Queensland can have confidence that this Government will ensure that we can defend our nation and protect our interests today and into the future.

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Register your business to attend the LAND 400 Roadshow

Registrations are closing soon for an Australia-wide roadshow to give local businesses the opportunity to be part of the Army’s biggest project – LAND 400.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the LAND 400 Phase 3 Mounted Close Combat Capabilities Roadshow was coming to Brisbane and would be a great opportunity for local industry to pitch their capabilities to shortlisted tenderers.

“Land 400 Phase 3 will acquire and support up to 450 Infantry Fighting Vehicles to replace the M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers and up to 17 Manoeuvre Support Vehicles,” Mr Vasta said.

“I encourage local companies in my electorate of Bonner not to miss out on the chance to speak directly to Defence and the Land 400 Phase 3 tenderers about how they can support the project.”

Defence will conduct the Roadshow in March and April 2020 with the two shortlisted tenderers, Hanwha Defense Australia and Rheinmetall Defence Australia, to facilitate opportunities for Australian industry involvement in the project.

The Roadshow will be coming to Brisbane the Sunshine Coast and Townsville in the week commencing Monday, March 9.

“This is the time to highlight to Hanwha and Rheinmetall some of the fantastic small businesses we have here in Bonner,” Mr Vasta said.

Registrations to participate in the Roadshow close February 21, 2020.

For more information and to register, visit

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Bonner business awarded defence grant

Bonner local business, Skyborne Technologies has been awarded $462,690 by the Morrison Governments Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant to make their mark in Australia’s Defence industry through the development of their armoured drone- Cereberus.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta says Skyborne Technologies unique combination of Artificial Intelligence and lightweight weaponised drone engineering is the way of Australia’s defence future.

“The Cereberus provides air force level support that does pin-point precision strikes that reduce collateral damage,” Mr Vasta said.

“Combined with artificial intelligence, the Cereberus closes the margin of error to help defence drone operators make accurate decisions under pressure in the line of duty.

“The incredible forward-thinking by the Skyborne Technologies team is bound to have a significant impact on Australia’s defence industry and on the world stage.”

The grant will help Skyborne Technologies further their research into artificial intelligence for strategic targeting planning as well as the development of lightweight unmanned aerial drones engineered for warfare.

“The Morrison government wants to use Australian businesses like Skyborne Technologies to help build up a robust and resilient defence industry that will also contribute to driving economic growth and employment opportunities.”

The next round of the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grants program close on 1 October 2019. Applications can be submitted through the Centre for Defence Industry Capability website at

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Community Announcement from the Australian Defence Force

Australian Defence Force personnel will conduct counter terrorism training in Brisbane over the period 20 October to 21 November 2014.

The training will involve responses to simulated terrorist incidents. Military personnel involved in this training will be carrying weapons and tactical equipment, and will use simulation ammunition and hand held pyrotechnics.

Local residents may notice increased military helicopter presence and movement of vehicles and military personnel during the training period, however should not be alarmed as this is part of the training.

This training is complimentary to the G20 Summit which is occurring in that region and ensures that the Australian Defence Force maintains the highest level of capability and is prepared to support National interests.

The Australian Defence Force has consulted with all relevant authorities and thanks local residents and businesses for their cooperation and support.

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