Defence is taking a new approach to the long-term tenancy arrangements at the government-owned munitions facility in Benalla, Victoria.
Defence will enter into collaborative negotiations early this year with 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,” Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne said.
“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 manufacturing jobs over the next decade. According to Defence, the new approach will also deliver better outcomes for Defence and industry.
Munitions and small arms research, design, development and manufacture have 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.
NIOA took up a tenancy at the Benalla factory following the Land Forces conference last year.
In partnership with SAAB Defence, the company is currently upgrading Defence’s existing 84mm Carl Gustav inventory to meet modern specifications.