$5 million for projects to continue to strengthen and diversify North Queensland’s economy

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education

The Australian Government has announced $5 million in funding for projects that will create job opportunities and further strengthen North Queensland’s economy.

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the $5 million funding is part of the Australian Government’s long-term commitment to the region’s ongoing recovery from the 2019 North Queensland Monsoon Trough flood event.

“Fifteen successful projects under this round of the North Queensland Economic Diversification Grants program will receive up to $500,000 to diversify existing industries or start new ones,” Minister McKenzie said.

“We have built flexibility into these grants, giving locals the opportunity to design projects that broaden their region’s economic base. The best outcomes come about when local communities decide what will work best in their region.”

“Specific grants will support primary producers in North Queensland with an important expansion of bull selling facilities in Cloncurry and support tourism by funding the establishment of a new ‘Hot Air Balloon Experience’ in Burke.”

Coordinator-General of the National Recovery and Resilience Agency, the Hon Shane L Stone AC QC, said projects were put forward by the councils, local organisations, and small-to-medium businesses including primary producers.

“These are all projects that will best support local needs and are in keeping with the region’s long-term recovery strategy. We know that recovery is an ongoing process and we are continuing to work closely with the communities hardest hit by the disaster,” Mr Stone said.

“This is another way we are investing in projects that not only help communities along on their recovery, but also help strengthen their resilience against future disasters by generating much needed economic and employment growth.”

Other funded projects will upgrade agricultural facilities in the region, including the construction of grain silos in Hinchinbrook and Burdekin to encourage crop diversification and rotation, an abattoir expansion in Richmond, a workshop in Etheridge to service heavy machinery and automated feeding technology to increase barramundi production in Whitsunday.

The Economic Diversification Grants program is one of five programs funded from the Australian Government’s $60 million package to support the long-term recovery of the 14 Local Government Areas hardest hit by the 2019 North Queensland Monsoon Trough. A second round of the Economic Diversification Grants will open in 2022.

The grants are being administered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA). Further information is available on their website: www.qrida.qld.gov.au/program/north-queensland-economic-diversification-grants

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