BANDIANA’s massive military warehouses will be handed over to Linfox next week as part of a $416 million seven-year contract with the Defence Department — but fewer people will run them.
Only 90 or so staff have been taken on by Linfox including some from the former workforce employed by BAE Systems.
Last year Transfield took over the vehicle repair and maintenance facilities, also from BAE, but most of the affected employees in that area regained their previous jobs.
The contract changes came about because the former Labor government decided to have two new national contracts, one for handling vehicles and the other for warehousing and distribution.
Transfield won the first contract, worth $240 million over six years from July last year, and Linfox the second, though the later only formally starts on July 1.
Even before the changes, BAE had shed almost 200 jobs across the Bandiana site it operates for Joint Logistics Unit (Victoria), leaving more than 300 by mid-last year.
Bandiana will be one of more than 20 defence sites Linfox will be responsible for in a move which has created more than 600 new jobs for the company.
Linfox chief executive officer Michael Byrne said the defence contract endorsed the strengths and capabilities of the business.
“This is a milestone contract that will underpin efficiency reforms for the ADF’s logistics network,” he said.
“Efficient logistics management is the core of our business.
“We have a track record in partnering major customers across the Asia Pacific to achieve supply chain efficiencies.
“We also have many years’ experience in managing a wide range of security-sensitive products.”
Linfox will be responsible for warehouse and distribution services of all defence inventory handled through the joint logistics units with the exception of explosive ordnance.
StarTrack will supply transport services to Linfox for the contract.
Meanwhile, construction of a massive new military warehouse at Bandiana is under way with funding for the $64.7 million project confirmed in the recent federal budget.
It is being built at Wadsworth Barracks opposite the Bandiana saleyards and is part of a $752.7 million defence logistics transformation program.
The project is being undertaken for Joint Logistics Unit (Victoria) by Joss Construction and national company John Holland.
Joss also built a $23 million large warehouse next to the Murray Valley Highway in 2010 and then helped remove redundant timber warehouses at North Bandiana.