Eleven businesses have each nabbed a share of $8.1 million in funding to help them improve production efficiency in preparation for the carbon tax.
A tilemaker, packaging producer, food processor and winery are among the first manufacturers to receive the grant, which comes under the government’s Clean Technology Investment Program.
The Program is designed to inject money garnered from carbon tax-payers back into industry as capital equipment allowance.
Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) chief executive Innes Willox said the Program will ensure successful applicants are better-equipped to face the forthcoming carbon tax – which begins on 1 July.
“The $1 billion Clean Technology Investment Program has an important function in sending part of the carbon tax revenue back to manufacturers as capital grants,” said Willox.
“This provides an opportunity to soften the blow of higher prices, to some extent, and makes efficient investments much more bankable.
"The first grants agreed through the Clean Technology Investment Program are welcome, and will help some manufacturers cut their exposure to carbon costs and rising energy prices.”
Willox said the funding will not stop at the first 11 grantees, with more allocations expected in the future.
"The $8.1 million in grants to 11 businesses announced today is a down payment on what we expect will be a continuing stream of investment directed towards improving efficiency in manufacturing,” he said.
"Interest from industry has been intense and we look forward to a continuing flow of successful applications driving co-investment and stronger businesses.
“Many manufacturers are investigating exactly the kinds of investment options announced today to cut their energy costs – waste heat recovery, cogeneration, high efficiency refrigeration, renewable energy – as well as other innovative opportunities.”
Ai Group, which was involved in developing the Clean Technology Investment Program, says a wider range of businesses should be offered funding – including manufacturers who are big energy users and are exposed to international competition, but currently fall below the thresholds for permit allocation.
"Those businesses include foundries, food processors, parts makers and many more. They are already feeling the weight of a strong dollar. Energy prices are rising fast, both because of carbon pricing and other major factors such as network investment,” said Willox.
How to apply for Clean Technology funding
The Clean Technology Investment Program is an $800 million competitive, merit-based grants program to support Australian manufacturers to maintain competitiveness in a carbon constrained economy. This program will provide grants for investments in energy efficient capital equipment and low emission technologies, processes and products.
The Program is currently open for submissions.
As a part of the launch of the Clean Technology Investment Program, AusIndustry will be holding public information sessions. Register here.
Find out more and submit your application on the Clean Technology Investment Program website.