Jobs on the line as company goes bust
MORE than 150 jobs in Bendigo are at risk after a company contracted to build engines for Australia's new generation of armoured vehicles went bust.
The $1.5 billion project to supply the new Hawkei vehicles, which will replace the ageing Bushmasters, is a year behind schedule.
Builders of the state-of-the-art fleet have scrambled to source new engines after Austrian company Steyr entered voluntary receivership.
Bendigo-based Thales, which is building the 1100 vehicles, is looking at ways to form a consortium to supply the engines.
Department of Defence head of land systems Major General Andrew Bottrell told a Senate estimates hearing there were issues with the "reliability" of the project.
"The company has gone into voluntary receivership, and Thales has joined as part of a consortium to look to bail the company out," he said.
We're waiting for information in terms of the success of that," he said.
Asked whether production workers had been stood down without pay for April, Major General Bottrell said he was not "across that piece of information".
Labor Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters said any loss of jobs would be "horrifying" for the Bendigo region.