MARYBOROUGH HISTORY: RNM director Rob Nioa with his family.
MARYBOROUGH HISTORY: RNM director Rob Nioa with his family. Contributed

REVEALED: Why Maryborough is the factory's ideal location

WHEN it came to choosing the location for the first munitions factory of its kind since World War II, Rob Nioa knew Maryborough was the place.

After all, it was once the director of Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions' hometown.

Standing in the same pub where he joked he had spent much of his youth, Mr Nioa told the crowd at the Carriers Arms Hotel he knew the town had the right skillset to make the $60 million munitions factory a reality.

Referencing the family's rich history by acknowledging the Nioa matriarch, Barbara, Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien light-heartedly said "all this wouldn't have been possible without her".

Both Rheinmetall and NIOA agreed on Maryborough as the chosen location in October last year.

Settling the new venture in Maryborough marks a return to the region for Mr Nioa, who grew up between Maryborough and Gladstone.

The family's history in the region began when his parents Barbara and Bill bought a pineapple farm south of Tiaro.

They later owned a service station where Rob worked with his mother and older brothers, Jamie and Tony.

Tony would later go on to become a prominent real estate agent in the Wide Bay region. In April he was named as the new deputy chairman of Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett.

Rob's sister-in-law, Anne, the wife of the late Jamie Nioa, is also in real estate and served as a councillor with Maryborough City Council and later the Fraser Coast Regional Council until 2012.

Her son Jackson is a director with RNM and is one of the leading figures behind the munitions factory.

Acting Fraser Coast mayor Darren Everard summed up the impact of Mr Nioa's return to the Heritage City during his opening address.

"Thanks for coming back to Maryborough... the world is the Fraser Coast's oyster, this is the start of it."