Up to 100 new jobs will be created in the Maryborough region following the Queensland government’s pledge to provide $7.5 million to help establish a 155mm shell plant.
The $60 million greenfield development will be capable of "manufacturing the world's most sophisticated and technologically advanced artillery shells for both the domestic and export markets".
Construction of the facility is expected to commence later this year, with the plant to be fully operational by 2022.
"This strong show of support by the state government will help deliver real benefits to the local community in Maryborough for decades to come by creating up to 100 local, highly skilled jobs," Robert Nioa, managing director of NIOA and director of Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions, said.
"The establishment of this new state-of-the-art facility will help to create a sovereign munitions manufacturing capability and ensure that future munitions supplied to our forces will be Australian made.”
Werner Kraemer, CEO of Rheinmetall Waffe Munition and chairman of Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions, added, "The planned forging facility in Maryborough is an essential cornerstone for supporting the Australian Land Forces’ Land 17 program, and underpins Rheinmetall’s strategy of creating new, highly skilled jobs in Australia. Furthermore, the Maryborough facility will help Rheinmetall establish a long-term sustainable supply chain for ammunition components serving different export markets.”
The funding was approved under the Queensland government's $150 million 'Jobs and Regional Growth Fund', which is being used to support projects that will have "significant impact" on a regional community, such as the Fraser Coast region.
“The local member for Maryborough has worked tirelessly to help deliver a positive outcome for the project. It’s great to see the local member advocating so hard for his local community, helping to deliver solid outcomes and real jobs," said Nioa.
The project remains subject to final approval of the $28.5 million application to the federal government's 'Regional Growth Fund', with a final determination expected before the end of March.