QLD Government fund to boost Far North manufacturers

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water The Honourable Glenn Butcher

Minister Glenn Butcher MP touring the factory with owners Sue, Byron and Barry Cooper with Member for Cairns Michael Healy MP

Regional manufacturing is being boosted with three Far North Queensland manufacturers sharing over $930,000 via an advanced manufacturing grant program to adopt cutting-edge technology, grow their business and create local jobs.

Minister for Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water Glenn Butcher said Far North Queensland is a manufacturing powerhouse and with the right kind of support, it can secure the manufacturing jobs of today and deliver the manufacturing jobs of the future.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s plan for economic recovery means working with our manufacturers every day; on their shopfloors and in their supply chains, to innovate, create a skilled workforce, and adopt world best practices.

Our Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program is helping to create 142 jobs in regional Queensland over five years and I am delighted three more regional companies are beneficiaries.

Member for Cairns Michael Healy revealed that cleaning product manufacturer Northern Chemicals will also receive a $127,590 grant to install a 2,000 litre Ribbon Blender which will automate its chemical production line, increase supply and allow the company to keep manufacturing and employ staff.

Northern Chemicals produces a well-respected brand of chemical products. During COVID19 times, the company provided an essential service to many industries and the local community with the manufacture of hand sanitiser gel,” Mr Healy said.

“It is the only manufacturer of specialised cleaning products in the region and a vital part of the supply chain.”

Northern ChemicalsManaging Director Barry Cooper said this type of practical government support goes a long way to not only allow Northern Chemicals to grow and help sustain its business but also imbues confidence in our local economy.

Cairns is ideally placed to expand and diversify its manufacturing industries and the Queensland Government’s Cairns Manufacturing Hub is proving to be a great facilitator in this regard,” Mr Cooper said.

“This grant has enabled Northern Chemicals to increase its workforce by two and we will be looking to further increase that number by two more this year.”

The Palaszczuk Government has also given high-tech signage company Status Signs a $134,461 grant to install a suite of equipment including a CNC routing machine with camera eye registration, CNC Cutting table and Laser Cutter, a UV Printer, and automated software.

Managing Director Rhys Carmody said the new equipment and software would improve the company’s cost competitiveness, efficiency and performance, and enable Status Signs to keep manufacturing providing opportunities for future growth.

“This latest automated technology will help to maximise our current and future client requirements, employ five additional staff, and provide upskilling opportunities to our current workforce. Furthermore, precision, quality and output will be increased through this new automated system that will link our production line.

Minister Butcher said partnering with the private sector to strengthen the manufacturing industry is an important part of the State Government’s economic recovery plan.

“Steel fabricating and shed building business, Atherton Metaland will receive $673,978 to purchase and install state-of-the-art machinery, specifically an all-in-one multitasking CNC beam line, so it can compete more effectively, increase market share, and enter a new market or export,” Mr Butcher said.

This will allow the company to process steel components more efficiently and help the company to move forward, keep manufacturing and employing staff.

“Locally owned and operated, Atherton Metaland, specialises in the design, supply and construction of small and large commercial and industrial structures, such as farm sheds and the hangars completed at Mareeba Airport and Herberton Fire Station,” Mr Pitt said.

“I am proud to support Atherton Metaland with a manufacturing grant and wish the company every success with its relocation to a nearby purpose-built facility later this year.”

Atherton Metaland‘s Director Murray Lammert said the new equipment would enable the company to expand its business.

“The grant will help us to transform our current work practice into an advanced manufacturing enterprise, service a greater area and increase staff numbers by up to 15 whilst also protecting the jobs of our current skilled staff, Mr Lammert said.

“Since January 2020, the Palaszczuk Government has invested over $7 million in 25 regional manufacturers through the $13.5 million Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program.

“It is exciting to see the practical application of the Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program by our regional manufacturers,” Mr Butcher said.

Our Cairns Manufacturing Hub alone has invested over $4 million in 13 companies, supporting the generation of 76 new jobs, whilst protecting 459 jobs.”

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