Brisbane-based defence company NIOA has acquired 300 acres of industrial land adjacent to the government-owned munitions manufacturing plant at Benalla, Victoria.
The company said that acquisition demonstrated their commitment to regional domestic manufacturing and private investment.
This land will provide growth options for NIOA and the Department of Defence in support of NIOA’s tenancy arrangements within the Benalla munitions facility.
“Investment in new sovereign manufacturing capability and full utilisation of the government’s existing investment in government-owned facilities is central to our current business strategy in the munitions manufacturing segment,” said NIOA managing director Robert Nioa.
“The Benalla land acquisition will provide significant flexibility as to how we achieve those objectives.”
From modest beginnings in 1973 importing and distributing to the domestic shooting market, NIOA has emerged as a significant player in Australian defence industry
It has now grown to become Australia’s largest privately-owned supplier of arms and ammunition to the sporting, law enforcement and military markets, and represents more than 50 international companies.
The company says it is focused on doing everything it can to respond to recent Department of Defence policy announcements, which see industry as a fundamental input to defence capability.
That includes providing value for money outcomes of the First Principles Review, developing munitions manufacturing as a sovereign industrial priority and participating in the defence export strategy, which aims to see Australia as one of the world's top 10 defence exporting nations within the next 10 years.
Earlier this month, Defence Minister Christopher Pyne announced that NIOA had been selected to take up a tenancy at Benalla.
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That starts with working in partnership with Saab Australia to upgrade Defence’s existing 84mm Carl Gustaf inventory to meet current specifications. This work will start within 12 weeks, creating jobs, producing vital capability for the Australian Defence Force, and diversifying sources of ammunition supply.
"NIOA’s work in Benalla will build further on their work supplying ammunition to Defence and leverage their partnerships with some of the world’s leading munitions companies," Minister Pyne said.
A series of additional business cases are currently under active review by Defence for follow on work.
That’s in relation to recent NIOA contracts for 120mm tank ammunition, the Army’s future 155mm artillery ammunition and 30mm ammunition for the Boxer vehicle.