The Palaszczuk Government is continuing to support Queensland businesses and Queensland jobs as the state responds to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner today announced a Sunshine Coast nursery would support up to 17 regional jobs with a funding boost from the Palaszczuk Government.
“Economies around the world and around Australia are doing it tough in the face of COVID-19,” the Minister said.
“Because we’re continuing to manage the health response we can start delivering Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“That means supporting local businesses and local jobs.”
The Minister said Plants Direct Queensland, at Eumundi, was one of the 14 businesses in Queensland to receive a Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant of up to $250,000 to fund the expansion of their business.
“Plants Direct Queensland has been supplying the landscape industry for almost 40 years and their plants have enhanced many projects across a variety of sectors including aged care and education facilities, resorts, golf courses, and housing estates,” Mr Furner said.
“Production and propagation capabilities at Plants Direct Queensland will increase to include a purpose-built facility to supply plants in pots; a project that company directors expect will support up to 17 new jobs in the in the local industry.”
Mr Furner said seven full-time employees would be needed once the project was up and running, another five during construction, plus it would support five indirect full-time jobs.
“These are tough times for everyone so projects like this that create jobs are even more important for Queensland,” he said.
Co-director Leita Brown said the project was designed to meet increasing demand for landscape lines, while helping to maintain job security in the future.
“We see a market opportunity to supply quality grown tube stock of trees, grasses and shrubs to the revegetation market in biodegradable pots, saving planting time, improving growth and reducing plastic,” Ms Brown said.
“We also see the potential to increase our supply of tube stock to the plant revegetation market and for landscape restoration in vulnerable areas and more recently areas impacted by bushfire.
“There are many advantages when planting a biodegradable pot into the landscape; it saves time, as the pot does not have to be removed; it reduces waste; reduces the use of plastic; achieves a lower carbon footprint and faster growth rates due to better quality root systems.”
The Rural Economic Development (RED) Grants program offers emerging projects up to $250,000 in co-contributions to build industry and grow employment opportunities across the agricultural sector in Regional Queensland.
A total of 14 businesses have received $3.34 million under the second round of funding for the RED Grants program. Overall these 14 projects are expected to create over more than 600 jobs across the agricultural sector in regional Queensland.
Expressions of interest for round 3 of the RED Grants close on July 10.
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administer the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.