A $60 million world-leading advanced manufacturing facility is a step closer for Maryborough after the Palaszczuk Government committed $7.5 million to the project through its successful $150 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the shell forging plant proposed by the newly formed joint venture Rheinmetall Nioa Munitions (RNM) 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.
“Queensland has already forged strong relationships with Rheinmetall after securing the LAND 400 Phase 2 contract that will see 211 Boxer reconnaissance vehicles built in Queensland for the Australian Army.
“And we’re leading the way nationally through our Defence Jobs Queensland initiative, which is growing defence industry capabilities in our state.
“This project ticks all the boxes when it comes to ensuring our khaki state’s defence industry continues to march forward,” he said.
“As Queensland’s first manufacturing minister for many years, I’m committed to continue delivering more manufacturing jobs throughout the state, particularly in our regions.”
Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders says the shell forging plant will add to the city’s long and proud manufacturing history.
“Businesses like Downer EDI Rail, Hyne Timber and Select Patient Care all employ and thrive here in Maryborough,” Mr Saunders said.
“We welcome the partnership between Rheinmetall and Queensland-based Nioa, and look forward to RNM creating much needed jobs for our community."
The CEO of Rheinmetall Waffe Munitions (RWM), a division of the Rheinmetall Defence Business and Chairman of RNM, Werner Kraemer said the intended forging facility in Maryborough is an essential cornerstone to support the Land 17 programme for the Australian Land Forces.
“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, while creating around 100 full-time jobs when the plant is fully operational.
“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 second quarter 2019, with the plant to be fully operational by 2022.”
The Palaszczuk Government is now calling on the federal government to deliver on its promise of $28.5 million to ensure the project is fully funded and supported.
“It’s time Prime Minister Scott Morrison turned the federal government’s provisional commitment, made last year, into a genuine one,” Mr Dick said.
“Maryborough needs these jobs.
“We want to see Mr Morrison and the federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien do the right thing by the community and sign off on the $28.5 million promised, no strings attached.”
The Palaszczuk Government’s $150 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund is targeted at growing regional economies and creating long-term jobs for Queenslanders.
Since January 2015, more than 186,000 jobs have been created in Queensland.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick