RDA Wide Bay Burnett working hard for the region—Maryborough's Projectile Forging Plant
The Fraser Coast region is categorised as regionally disadvantaged according to the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas, derived from the most recent Census.
It has the most persistent and highest unemployment rates in Australia, noting youth unemployment peaking at 27.7% as at March 2018 is the third highest in the country. The region also ranks as having the lowest rate of hourly pay in Australia for those who have employment.
In this context, RDA Wide Bay Burnett actively facilitated and supported the stakeholders which resulted in a successful application to the Regional Growth Fund by a joint venture, between NIOA, an Australian munitions manufacturer, and Rheinmetall Defence Industry Company, to produce military artillery shells. The Australian Government has pre-approved $28.5 million from the Regional Growth Fund to go towards establishing the facility in Maryborough.
The high-level economic benefits to the region and the Australian economy are two-fold:
- The $18m construction of the factory buildings is forecast to generate 68 jobs in the Fraser Coast region and a further 39 outside of the region making a total of 107 in this phase of the project.
- The operational phase of the project is expected to create sustainable direct jobs of 110 generating direct enduring annual wages of over $10m and a further 118 jobs in other industries such as retail, property and transport. In summary, 228 local jobs, a total of 355 nation-wide from the operational phase of this project.
In addition, the facility is expected to create jobs in a variety of occupations including metal fabrication, engineering, plant management, maintenance trades and administration. The average wage is likely to be over 2.5 times the average regional individual wage, creating solid enduring and indirect flow-on impacts. The jobs impact from this project is large, reliable and diversifying.
The consultant compiling the application said the outcome was greatly assisted thanks to RDA Wide Bay Burnett support including:
- the initial point of contact for the joint venture’s Brisbane-based consultant tasked with putting the application together.
- Working with the consultant to source evidence-based information from EconomyID on the economics of the Wide Bay Burnett region.
- Introducing the consultant to the council CEO; the Regional Director for the Queensland Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Manufacturing and Planning; and advocacy to the Federal Member of Parliament.
- Initiating conversations with all levels of government, ensuring the relevant confidentialities were maintained, to:
- source suitable land for the proposed facility through Economic Development QLD and other state representatives;
- source one of the largest support packages to attract this investment and jobs to the region from the Fraser Coast Regional Council’.
More information about the process to support the joint venture between NIOA and Rheinmetall Defence Industry Company can be found by contacting RDA Wide Bay Burnett.