Latrobe City launches ‘aerospace precinct’ at Avalon Airshow

The push to establish an ‘aerospace precinct’ in the Latrobe Valley is gathering steam, with a visit to the Avalon International Airshow last week part of Latrobe City Council’s efforts.

Deputy mayor Graeme Middlemiss revealed council was in discussions with three possible tenants for the proposed facility including an education institution, a large multinational aerospace manufacturer and a start-up company that creates third generation electronic equipment for aircraft.

“All three will be visiting the Latrobe Valley in the next two weeks,” Cr Middlemiss said on Friday.

The aerospace precinct idea has been a couple of years in the making, but was officially launched at the airshow and aims to build on the strengths of locally-based aircraft manufacturer Mahindra Aerospace.

It would involve construction of specialist buildings to accommodate the tenants and would need investment from state and federal governments.

“Our confidence is lifted by a willingness of these three businesses to visit the Valley and enter into negotiations about their possible location,” Cr Middlemiss said.

He said the concept was part of efforts to diversify the Latrobe Valley’s economy as it transitioned away from coal-fired power generation.

Cr Middlemiss said the airshow was an opportunity to speak to “all the players” in aviation and aerospace.

“We had about 50 people come along and speak to us, from really strong interest, down to passing interest,” he said.