Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program to fund north QLD businesses

Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program

Minister Glenn Butcher touring the factory with owners Sue, Byron and Barry Cooper with Member for Cairns Michael Healy.

Queensland’s Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program will provide three far north Queensland manufacturers with over $930,000 between them. This will enable the adoption of new technology, create local jobs and grow the businesses.

A manufacturing powerhouse, with support the region can secure and deliver a high volume of manufacturing jobs, according to minister for Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water Glenn Butcher. 

“The Palaszczuk government’s plan for economic recovery means working with our manufacturers every day; on their shopfloors and in their supply chains, to innovate, create a skilled workforce and adopt world best practices,” Butcher said. 

“Our Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program is helping to create 142 jobs in regional Queensland over five years and I am delighted three more regional companies are beneficiaries. 

Cleaning product manufacturer Northern Chemicals will receive a $127,590 grant to install a 2,000L Ribbon Blender to automate its chemical production line. It will also increase supply and retain employees, according to member for Cairns Michael Healy. 

“Northern Chemicals produces a well-respected brand of chemical products,” Healy said. 

During COVID-19 times, the company provided an essential service to many industries and the local community with the manufacture of hand sanitiser gel. 

“It is the only manufacturer of specialised cleaning products in the region and a vital part of the supply chain.” 

This type of practical government support will allow Northern Chemicals to grow and sustain its business, while imbuing confidence in the local economy, according to Northern Chemicals’ managing director Barry Cooper. 

“Cairns is ideally placed to expand and diversify its manufacturing industries and the Queensland Government’s Cairns Manufacturing Hub is proving to be a great facilitator in this regard,” Cooper said.  

“This grant has enabled Northern Chemicals to increase its workforce by two and we will be looking to further increase that number by two more this year.”  

The Queensland government has also given high-tech signage company Status Signs a $134,461 grant to install a suite of equipment. This includes a CNC routing machine with camera eye registration, CNC Cutting table and Laser Cutter, a UV Printer and automated software.  

The new equipment and software will improve the company’s cost competitiveness, efficiency and performance. It will also enable Status Signs to keep providing opportunities for future growth, Status Signs managing director Rhys Carmody said. 

“This latest automated technology will help to maximise our current and future client requirements, employ five additional staff and provide upskilling opportunities to our current workforce,” Carmody said. 

Furthermore, precision, quality and output will be increased through this new automated system that will link our production line.” 

Partnering with the private sector to strengthen the manufacturing industry is an important part of the state government’s economic recovery plan. 

“Steel fabricating and shed building business, Atherton Metaland will receive $673,978 to purchase and install state-of-the-art machinery, specifically an all-in-one multitasking CNC beam line, so it can compete more effectively, increase market share and enter a new market or export,” Butcher said.  

This will allow the company to process steel components more efficiently and help the company to move forward, keep manufacturing and employing staff.  

“Locally owned and operated, Atherton Metaland specialises in the design, supply and construction of small and large commercial and industrial structures, such as farm sheds and the hangars completed at Mareeba Airport and Herberton Fire Station,” Pitt said.  

“I am proud to support Atherton Metaland with a manufacturing grant and wish the company every success with its relocation to a nearby purpose-built facility later this year.”  

The new equipment would enable the business to expand, Atherton Metaland director Murray Lammert said. 

“The grant will help us to transform our current work practice into an advanced manufacturing enterprise, service a greater area and increase staff numbers by up to 15 whilst also protecting the jobs of our current skilled staff,” Lammert said.  

“Since January 2020, the Palaszczuk government has invested over $7M in 25 regional manufacturers through the $13.5M Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program. 

“It is exciting to see the practical application of the Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program by our regional manufacturers,” Butcher said.  

“Our Cairns Manufacturing Hub alone has invested over $4M in 13 companies, supporting the generation of 76 new jobs, whilst protecting 459 jobs.” 

To find out morevisit www.qld.gov.au/manufacturinghubs. 

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