M'boro factory a step closer with $7.5 million grant
A MUNITIONS factory tipped to bring hundreds of jobs to the Maryborough region is one step closer after the State Government granted $7.5 million to the joint venture project.
The $60 million project, announced by newly formed joint venture Rheinmetall Nioa Munitions last year, will produce artillery shell casings for use by the Australian Defence Force and export to selected defence forces overseas.
Yesterday, the State Government announced a $7.5 million contribution - provided through the $150 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund - to get the project off the ground.
$28.5 million of federal funding has already been allocated for the project, subject to the approval of a business case.
State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the project would boost employment and industrial development in the region.
"Up to 100 new full-time jobs will be created when the plant is fully operational in 2022, and there will be additional shifts over the 20 years working life of the facility," Mr Dick said.
"The state-of-the-art facility will also support local small-to-medium-sized businesses that are part of the industry supply chain."
The development of the factory is expected to create more than 100 positions for the job-starved Maryborough region.
In November last year, Maryborough-based executive Max Voigt was appointed as a strategic advisor to oversee the development of the factory.
Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said shell forging plant will add to the city's long and proud manufacturing history.
According to Rheinmetall Waffe Munitions CEO Werner Kraemer, the munitions facory will become an essential cornerstone to support the Australian Land Forces' Land 17 program.
The Land 17 program involves the construction and upgrade of indirect fire support weapons, including artillery for the Australian Army.
"It also underpins RNM`s philosophy to create new qualified jobs in the domestic market," Mr Kraemer said.
"The Maryborough facility will further be a substantial contribution to Rheinmetall establishing a long-term sustainable supply chain for ammunition components serving different export markets.
RNM Director Robert Nioa said the new facility will create advanced manufacturing, high-technology jobs, providing opportunities for careers, training and stable incomes across the community.
"Maryborough is an ideal location to create a centre for defence manufacturing, with proximity to Brisbane and future major defence projects such as LAND 400," Mr Nioa said.
"The shell forging plant will be one of a kind in Australia, contributing to the establishment of sovereign capability in the state to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and defence exports.
"The shell forging plant will not have the capability to 'charge' the shell and therefore operates without the risk of managing explosives.
"Site works are expected to commence in the second quarter of 2019, with the plant to be fully operational by 2022."