The Liberal Nationals Government is providing a $202,000 boost to Anderleigh Quarry to help up to 50 Indigenous jobseekers move into paid work, Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion and the Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien announced today.
Minister Scullion said this investment in Gunalda's Anderleigh Quarry was a fantastic boost for the local economy.
"Communities called for more support for Indigenous businesses and in the 2016 election the Government we made a $115 million commitment to establish an Indigenous Business Sector Strategy.
"We heard in every community there are entrepreneurs who have the ideas and energy to start a small business but the banks rarely took on the risk of lending to people in remote and regional communities," he said.
"The Government has stepped in where the banks won't lend and through this Package, we are giving Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs a fair go."
Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien said he was pleased to announce the Morrison Government was backing local entrepreneurs and apprentices in Wide Bay.
"I have championed this funding to support local businesses and more local jobs for the people of Wide Bay," he said.
"Over the life of this project, this investment will create opportunities to move up to 50 Indigenous jobseekers into paid employment."
"Through the investment, Anderleigh Quarry will be able to lease mining equipment to enable it to employ more locals and train more apprentices in mining related jobs.
"The new equipment will allow Anderleigh Quarry to deliver more fit-for-purpose training packages for students, giving the best possible training opportunity.
"We know that the very best form of welfare the Government can offer is a job, and I am pleased to be part of a Government whose strong economic management is allowing it to reinvest in job-creating projects such as this one."
Since coming to office in 2013, the Coalition Government's Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) has lifted Commonwealth purchasing from Indigenous businesses from $6.2m in 2012-13 to over 1470 Indigenous businesses winning $1.83 billion since its introduction in July 2015.
"This has led to a 30 per cent increase in the size of the Indigenous business sector and a 23.3 per cent increase in the number of Indigenous Australians with a job," Minister Scullion said.
"These grants help remote and regional Indigenous entrepreneurs move their communities from the misery of welfare and into the dignity of work.
"There are too many Indigenous entrepreneurs whose business ideas have the potential to transform their communities but they just need a hand to get started."
Funding for this project has been allocated out of existing resources in the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.
The Indigenous Entrepreneurs Fund is part of the Government's Indigenous Advancement Strategy and complements other Government programs which have resulted in a 23.3 per cent in the number of identifying Indigenous Australians with a job since the 2011 Census and 30 per cent increase in the number of Indigenous entrepreneurs in small business.