MORE than 600 jobs will be created in regional Queensland after 14 businesses secured a share of $3.34 million in funding under the Palaszczuk Government’s job-creating Rural Economic Development (RED) Grants program.
Businesses from Banana to Burdekin, Goondiwindi to the Whitsundays received up to $250,000 in co-contribution grants to fund emerging projects to build industry and grow employment opportunities across the agricultural sector.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said 14 regional businesses were successful under the second round of the program, representing a wide range of industries including horticulture, aquaculture and meat processing.
“These grants are going to allow for exciting new developments in strawberry, mango, watermelon and grain growing operations, poultry, macropod meat production, nursery and even aquaculture” Mr Furner said.
“Some businesses will expand on infrastructure, increase sustainability and energy efficiency, or develop agtech opportunities, while others will value add second grade food product, expand into organics, or develop new systems of farming in their industries.
“All the projects will create new jobs for regional Queensland. In total 169 direct full-time jobs will be created, another 183 during construction and 299 indirect full-time positions will need to be filled to make these projects come to life.”
Mr Furner said a grant to Western Game Meat Processing in Longreach will increase energy efficiency and help the business transition into renewable energy while enabling production of bone free kangaroo meat and value-add export products.
“They’ll need eight full-time employees, plus another three during construction and it is expected the project will support 40 indirect full-time jobs,” Mr Furner said.
“This is just one of the 14 exciting new projects the grants will help to enable new infrastructure, create jobs and build the regions’ agriculture portfolio.” Mr Furner said.
The $10 million grants program provides for three funding rounds over a three-year period ending in 2021.
Funding for Round 3 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.
For more information about the RED Grant scheme visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au/redgrants
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
The Honourable Mark Furner