Why Melbourne, Victoria for Aviation and Aerospace? Melbourne, Victoria is recognised as a centre of excellence for aviation and aerospace. Aviation and aerospace is a very important part of the economy here in Victoria and indeed, in Australia. Australia is really leading the world in terms of the privatisation and development of its airport industry and now we have an opportunity to take that expertise into Asia, where they’re building airports at a rapid rate and are really looking to Australia and Victoria for the expertise and leadership that we have.

Melbourne Airport is very thankful it’s located in the state of Victoria due to its very stable economy; due to its highly-skilled workforce. More aircraft landing and taking off, more freight, more needs for maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities within Victoria to support that growth. So the aviation sector should have confidence in Victoria.

Avalon Airport is located between Melbourne and Geelong, Victoria’s second largest city. In 2012 the Victorian government committed to make Avalon a second international airport for Melbourne. The growth of international traffic into Victoria is very significant. Avalon Airport has got a huge capacity to embrace this growth.

The Victorian government has been extremely supportive of Avalon Airport and their growth. Down at Avalon we’ve got the International Airshow every two years, which is one of the best international airshows in the world.

Manufacturing has always been very important to Australia and very important to Victoria, which is arguably Australia’s manufacturing hub.

GippsAero is a member of Mahindra Aerospace. It’s based in Gippsland. It designs new aircraft from a clean sheet and takes them through prototyping and into manufacture and then into the international marketplace.

GippsAero is unique because it is Australia’s only aircraft manufacturer. We currently sell into 38 different countries and what that gives us is a great exposure for Australian IP. The business has a backbone of R&D. It is developing new aircraft. Those new aircraft are targeted towards the export market.

We have companies such as Rosebank and Marand taking significant and important parts of global supply chains. The Joint Strike Fighter project is one of the most important projects for Australian industry and Marand is taking the lead here in Victoria and indeed expanding its operations as it designs and builds the engine trailer.

Victoria is blessed to be the home of several leading universities and training colleges. These universities are producing world-class graduates. For example, RMIT University graduates are working on the Comac C919 project in China.

We’re working hand in hand with these organisations in order that the course is designed specific to the aerospace business and that the course content delivers someone who’s got the competencies we’re looking for to grow the business. So Victoria is a great place to be. You’ve got an opportunity to work with organisations in your supply chain that are not going to let you down and as we diversify the business and grow the overall number of aircraft produced we can look to Victorian companies to provide that skills and services to the business.