PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6019


Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 12/02/1983

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 6019

I am pleased to announce that Bendigo is to become the lead
factory for the manufacture of parts for, and assembly of,
the Army's new Light Field Gun Project Hamel.
Hamrrel involves production of a towed field gun and is the
largest project since Australian manufacture of the
pounder during the 1940s. It involves the manufacture
under licence of a British designed light gun to replace
the existing 1930 vintage 105 mm Howitzer.
The Minister for Defence Support, Mr Ian Viner,
recently announced that the Ordnance Factory in Bendigo
would establish the capability to manufacture major
sub assemblies of the gun and would build and test two
pre-production weapons. That work is already in hand.
As the lead factor for Hamel, Bendigo will arrange the assembly
of 73 guns for the Australian Army from parts made here and
by sub-contractors.
As significant as this project may be, my Government has other
plans for the Bendigo factory.
Ian Viner recently announced that the Naval Dockyard at
Williamstown had been invited to tender for the construction
of two follow-on destroyers of the FFG class.
As part of the Government's policy to maximise Australian
content, the Ordnance Factory at Bendigo will have the
opportunity to become heavily involved in sub-contract work.
Some of the special items of equipment which would involve
the Ordnance Factory are machining of the propeller shaft and
hub. This shaft work will be identical with previous shafts made
at Bendigo for installation in earlier vessels of this type.
Negotiations with Oto Melara of Italy for a licence to build
the 76 nun gun mounts for the follow-on destroyers are close
to finality. These mounts would be manufactured here in Bendigo.
Negotiations are also proceeding with a number of United States
companies to obtain offset work against equipment which would
be supplied by those firms.
It is also expected that this work would include parts for the
guided missile launching system, handling and support equipment
for gas turbine engines and ships generators as well as parts
for small calibre weapon systems. Some of this work would come to

Light field gun 2 12/ 2/ 83
Bendigo. Bendigo would also become involved as a sub-contractor to the
Naval Dockyard in fabricating and madoining work directly associate8
with ship construction. This commitment of the Government
to the Ordnance Factory not only helps ensure its future and
the jobs of the people working here, but facilitates up-grading
of a number of areas of defence technology.

Transcript 6019