Up to 600 new jobs will be created in the Queensland agriculture industry after the Palaszczuk Government approved $3.2 million in Rural Economic Development grants for expansions and advancements in 15 rural businesses.
Businesses in Maranoa, Lockyer Valley, Central Highlands, Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast, Mareeba, Balonne, North Burnett, Western Downs and Southern Downs regions have been approved for a share of the funding to build new infrastructure, create jobs and build the regions’ agriculture portfolio.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said emerging projects were offered up to $250,000 in co-contributions to build industry, support rural communities and grow employment opportunities.
“The Queensland agriculture industry is about to benefit from significant economic benefit through these projects as successful businesses start taking their ideas for expansion from paper to reality,” Mr Furner said.
“We’ve seen some projects that will greatly benefit and value add to the agricultural supply chain in regional areas, which will not only increase agriculture production but create up to 600 new jobs in the sector.
“This means more jobs in a stronger Queensland economy, where the Palaszczuk Government has already created more than 192,000 new jobs.”
Midwest Fabrication in the Western Downs will use its grant to improve and build infrastructure so it can expand its manufacturing capacity, creating 24 direct and indirect jobs.
Brodie JV MH in the Balonne Shire will construct a 10,000 head lamb feedlot and a spelling yard, creating 13 direct and indirect jobs. Their grant will contribute to the first three stages, with a capacity of 6000 head.
The new positions include fulltime jobs created during the projects, additional direct fulltime jobs created 12 months after completing the projects and additional indirect fulltime jobs. These jobs will strengthen rural communities, along with economic benefits to the rural areas and the entire agricultural supply chain.
“Some of the projects will allow businesses to meet national and international demand, open markets for production lines that did not otherwise exist in Queensland, improve product and meet increasing consumer demand,” Mr Furner said.
“Other projects for example are centred around cashing in on consumers’ willingness to pay higher prices for premium product, delivering significant benefits for producers, doubling production or maximising export markets.
“This is yet another example of how the Palaszczuk Government is backing our farmers and backing our regions.”
The $10 million grants program provides for three funding rounds over a three-year period ending in 2021.
Funding for Round 2 of the RED Grants will be announced later this year.
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administer the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.