Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne today announced the Federal Government is taking a new approach to the long-term tenancy arrangements at the Australian Government owned munitions facility in Benalla, Victoria, which will deliver up to 100 new jobs.
Defence will enter into collaborative negotiations early this year with Australian company NIOA to establish a second long-term tenancy alongside Thales Australia trading as Australian Munitions.
“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” said Minister Pyne.
“The expected long-term tenancy at Benalla from July 1, 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.”
Once implemented, the NIOA tenancy is expected to deliver up to 100 new highly sophisticated, advanced manufacturing jobs over the next decade.
The new approach will also deliver better outcomes for Defence and Australian Defence Industry. NIOA’s work in Benalla will further build on their work supplying ammunition to Defence, and leverage their partnerships with some of the world’s leading munitions companies.
Minister Pyne said munitions and small arms research, design, development and manufacture had recently been identified as a Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority by Defence.
“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,” Minister Pyne 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.”