A new round of the Palaszczuk Government’s job-creating Rural Economic Development Grants has opened for expressions of interest.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said $3.3 million worth of projects from the first round would create up to 600 jobs and help 15 rural businesses to expand.
“This grant program represents everything that we are about – creating the regional jobs we need now and in to the future,” Mr Furner said.
“We have created more than 207,000 jobs since 2015 and we want to make sure every part of Queensland shares in the benefits.
“That’s why our Rural Economic Development grants are so important. They help existing agricultural businesses to expand their capacity and create more jobs in rural communities.”
Rural Economic Development grants provide co-contributions up to $250,000 for food and agricultural businesses to support ‘shovel-ready’ projects that create jobs related to value added primary production and provide significant economic benefits to rural and regional communities.
Mr Furner said the Rural Economic Development (RED) Grants were available to fund projects that contributed to primary production related economic development and job creation in rural areas.
“To be eligible to apply, applicants must propose an agricultural supply chain project based in regional Queensland that will generate economic growth and local job,” Mr Furner said.
“Eligible projects may implement new technologies and innovations that enhance productivity, assist with business development and expansion, or work to achieve improved economies of scale.
“Applicants must also demonstrate an ability to provide sufficient finance to match the grant and propose a project that has not already received approval or acceptance under another government scheme.”
Mr Furner said the first round of grants supported businesses in Maranoa, Lockyer Valley, Central Highlands, Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast, Mareeba, Balonne, North Burnett, Western Downs and Southern Downs regions.
“We’ve seen some exciting projects that will greatly benefit and value add to the agricultural supply chains in regional areas, which will not only increase agriculture production but are expected to create up to 600 new jobs in the sector,” he said.
The RED Grant program is funded for a total of $10 million over three years.
Expressions of interest for round two close on September 6.
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) is administering RED Grants program on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.