Two Bundaberg-based manufacturers, NewFresh Foods and Aletek Operations, have shared in almost $4 million through the Made in Queensland (MiQ) Grants initiative to grow their operations and support jobs.
“Manufacturing contributes $20 billion a year to the Queensland economy and employees, and we want to see that grow even further,” minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher said.
“These grants are giving smaller businesses an opportunity to really think big and make those major purchases that would otherwise be out of reach, and at the same time, benefit to the local economy through jobs growth and business growth.”
NewFresh Foods in Alloway received a $1.91 million grant.
“NewFresh Foods is an industry leader across the Bundaberg region, investing into future innovation and further job growth for locals in our community,” Bundaberg MP Tom Smith said.
“I’m proud to be part of the Queensland government and to announce this nearly $2 million in funding, which NewFresh Foods will use to add new product lines to its manufacturing and processing capabilities. Not only that, but this grant will allow NewFresh Foods to support a total of 52 jobs. This is an outstanding win for local industry and local jobs.”
NewFresh Foods manufactures plant-based food products. The business sells fresh produce to major supermarket retailers, but the exacting specifications means there is product rejected for aesthetic reasons, such as blemishes.
Previously, the business had limited opportunities for these products, but the MiQ funding means it can purchase new machinery to extract material from rejected crops and make them available for purchase.
“At the moment, Australian nutraceutical and functional food businesses import these plant extracts for their products,” NewFresh Foods coordinator Finance & Technology Geoff Fisher said.
“We know in Australia we grow superior food products and so if we can also extract the active ingredients, or the effective compounds, that these companies have identified as ingredients for their products, then all the better.”
Aletek Operations in Svensson Heights, which produces heavy duty exhausts and other products for the mining sector, has received a $1.36 million grant to purchase four machines for the business and create or support 29 jobs.
“Aletek employs more than 80 Bundaberg locals and services an international market, that is why it is important that the Queensland government does everything it can to support this business, as they continue to put their best foot forward on the global stage,” Smith said.
This investment will help the Aletek Operations to target opportunities in global mining sectors like North America, Indonesia and South America. It will also enable them to purchase three CNC manufacturing machines and a 3D laser scanner.
“These three machines represent world-leading technology and will give us a competitive edge as we further expand internationally, manufacturing from our regional Bundaberg facility,” Aletek Operations manager Peter Churchill said.
“Right now, products manufactured here in regional Queensland face up to a 15-business-day turnaround for raw materials. These industry-leading machines will eliminate that delay, increasing our competitiveness in manufacturing both for Australia and overseas. In addition, this investment will turbocharge Aletek’s factory floor capabilities and significantly improve our agility when meeting global customer expectations.”