The Federal Government has thrown its weight behind a new state-of-the-art forging and manufacturing plant in regional Queensland, in a joint initiative between Australian company NIOA and German counterpart Rheinmetall.
NIOA and Dusseldorf-based Rheinmetall plan to build the $60 million facility – manufacturing artillery shells and other munitions products for the Australian Defence Force – in Maryborough with the creation of 100 direct, long-term skilled jobs in the surrounding Fraser Coast region.
Their application for $28.5 million of federal funding was approved under the government’s ‘Regional Growth Fund’ which supports projects in excess of $20 million investment, considered transformational to a regional economy. While final approval is still pending, the companies have also sought additional backing from the Queensland government.
NIOA MD Robert Nioa said the plant would ensure future munitions supplies to the ADF will be Australian-made and create Australian Industry Capability for current and future contracts.
“NIOA is proud to partner with Rheinmetall to establish an important project that will create a sovereign military capability in Australia and hundreds of jobs in regional Queensland,” he said.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia MD Gary Stewart said the facility would replace munitions imported into Australia and ensure the nation has a long-term sovereign capability to supply the ADF.
“The artillery made at the new plant will be delivered to the Australian Army and for export to selected Defence forces globally through Rheinmetall’s Global Supply Chain program,” he said.