The Federal Government has announced a new approach to the long-term tenancy arrangements at the government-owned munitions facility in Benalla, Victoria, delivering up to 100 advanced manufacturing jobs over the next decade.
The Department of Defence will enter into collaborative negotiations with Australian company NIOA to establish a second long-term tenancy at the facility, alongside Thales Australia, which trades as Australian Munitions.
Making the announcement, the Minister for Defence, Christopher Pyne, said: “This will be the first time since the facility was established in the early 1990s that other munitions manufacturers will operate at Benalla, bringing the facility into line with international best practice, creating jobs in regional Victoria, delivering better utilisation of the facilities and launching a new era for ammunition manufacture for the ADF and for export opportunities.
“The expected long-term tenancy at Benalla from 1st July 2020 will be further discussed in parallel with negotiations already underway between the commonwealth and Thales to continue their current responsibilities at Benalla munitions facility.”
NIOA’s tenancy in Benalla will further build on its work supplying the department with ammunition and leverage its partnerships with some of the world’s leading munitions companies.
The minister said that munitions and small arms development and manufacture had recently identified as a sovereign industrial capability priority by the department.
“The NIOA tenancy will strengthen and diversify sovereign capability while also ensuring increased use of the government factories at Benalla, providing more munitions supply options for Defence,” he said.
“I look forward to NIOA producing and exporting munitions from Benalla to our friends and allies. This announcement will provide increased security of employment for the staff at the government factories at Benalla and ensure the facilities’ ongoing financial viability for the next generation.”