Queensland government invests in bio-tech manufacturing

Two strategic investments in Brisbane-based bio-tech and manufacturing companies are set to create more than 870 operational jobs, and even more in construction.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government was investing in job-creating projects.

“In the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic we’re investing in local manufacturing which is critical for our economic recovery and creating jobs,” the Premier said.

“Brisbane-based biotech company Ellume will introduce advanced manufacturing processes to speed up and enhance production capability of a rapid COVID-19 test which delivers a result within 15 minutes.

“This funding through the $50 million Essential Goods and Supply Chain program will allow Ellume to ramp up production of the COVID-19 rapid tests from 60,0000 per day to more than 200,000.

“Our investment will also bring back manufacturing jobs of critical component parts to Queensland, including electronics.

“The project is expected to support over 500 jobs when fully operational, with up to an additional 200 jobs created during construction.”

The Premier said funding will also go to Brisbane based bio-pharmaceutical development and manufacturing company Luina Bio, to expand its current manufacturing capacity and workforce by up to 378 jobs over the next five years.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Steven Miles, said the two investments importantly will create hundreds of jobs.

“Throughout 2020, we have all become acutely aware of how important it is to manufacture goods in Queensland, and how critical it is to have a ready supply and capability to locally produce our own PPE and other related goods,” he said.

Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick outlined details of the strategic, job-creating investments.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s key priority is to create and support jobs for Queenslanders across a broad range of traditional, emerging and expanding sectors,” he said.

Ellume CEO and founder, Dr Sean Parsons, said the funding will allow the company to install state-of-the-art automated production lines to assemble the rapid COVID-19 tests for export and enable Ellume to re-shore and upscale critical manufacturing component parts to Queensland.

“The funds from the State Government will greatly assist in reshoring as much of the manufacturing supply chain as is practicable, providing Ellume and its customers with greater supply security,” Parsons said.

“Already, we’ve created more than 300 jobs and need to grow our staffing numbers as quickly as we can to meet production targets.

“This is world-leading and life-saving diagnostic testing technology, created and manufactured right here in Queensland.”

Luina Bio CEO Les Tillack said the expanded $40 million facility, which will incorporate up to five bio-processing production lines in parallel, will also include commercial scale sterile fill and finish capabilities, which has been identified as a national supply chain gap.

“The support from the Queensland Government enables us to expand capability and fill these supply chain gaps,” he said.

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