A Mackay business that exports live corals to the global aquarium industry has received a Queensland Government economic recovery grant to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Ultra Coral Australia successfully applied for a share of the $500,000 Market Diversification and Resilience Grant Program.
“The Queensland Government is working closely with industry on the economic recovery of the agriculture and fisheries sectors, including agribusiness exporters who support thousands of jobs,” Mr Furner said.
“We have handled the health response well so far, and that means we can support businesses like Ultra Coral as we continue to implement our $8 billion plan for economic recovery.”
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the grant would make a real difference to Ultra Coral.
“A $7,500 grant to purchase vital new equipment is helping Ultra Coral Australia, supply a whole new market of Australian retail customers,” Mrs Gilbert said.
“Ultra Coral Australia is a prime example of a Queensland agribusiness building resilience and finding opportunity from adversity.”
Company Director Nicholas Dos Santos said domestic retail orders have opened after international wholesale trade closed due to COVID-19’s effect on the economy and freight transport.
“Dealing directly with retailers means an increase in the number of orders that we have to process and ship,” Mr Dos Santos said.
“With funding support from the Queensland Government, we have been able to speed up the packing chain by purchasing a new clipping machine to automate the packaging of water-filled bags of live coral.”
Located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Ultra Coral Australia collected and supplied premium live coral to countries all over the world before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
More than 150 businesses applied for the first round of the Market Diversification and Resilience Grants Program for COVID-19 affected exporters – part of the Queensland Government’s $27.25 million coronavirus industry economic recovery package.