FEDERAL parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Defence Darren Chester was excited and impressed by the innovation at Bale Defence Industries on Thursday afternoon.
Lyne MP Dr David Gillespie and Mr Chester eagerly climbed into one of the unique rough terrain vehicles the Bale team has created for the Australian Army.
The parliamentary secretary said his visit to Lyne, which concludes today with stops at Taree's Steber International and Port Macquarie's Birdon, had a clear purpose.
"At the moment defence is engaged with the white paper, and I'm very keen to see how smaller and medium-sized businesses can be involved from there," Mr Chester said.
Dr Gillespie said Bale's purpose-built vehicles clearly showed the Mid-North Coast is becoming a "centre for excellence" for defence projects.
Link Bale said a huge amount of testing and expertise went into the RTVs.
"This is probably the most versatile vehicle that defence has ever had," Mr Bale said.