Tasmanian businesses have received $13 million in grants from the Innovation and Investment Fund as part of the Federal Government’s strategy to bolster local industry.
When added to the $27 million in investment by local businesses, the grants will inject $40 million into the Tasmanian economy and create more than 400 new jobs.
“Forty one businesses across the State will receive from $50,000 to $1.4 million to strengthen their operations, making them more competitive by investing in technology, modernisation and building capacity,” Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane (pictured) said in a statement.
Macfarlane and local MPs Eric Hutchinson and Andrew Nikolic visited some of these businesses yesterday.
One of them, GJ Engineering Pty Ltd will receive $86,738 towards a $173,476 new vertical lathe to diversify and increase the capacity of their production-run machine parts manufacturing plant and general engineering service. This project will create five new ongoing positions.
"GJ's are going to be able to bring in a new piece of equipment, which they've been wanting to buy for some time, but with this grant they're now able to buy it sooner and able to put on two extra people, fully qualified tradespeople," Macfarlane said.
GJ Engineering’s owner Graeme Howard told the ABC it would mean the project would be started and completed sooner.
"I would have done it anyway, but what the grant will achieve is we'll be able to do it a lot sooner," he said.
"So we're starting now, where I probably wouldn't have started looking at this for another year or so.
"This has given me the opportunity to bring all my plans forward by at least 12 months, if not longer."
George Town Seafoods has also been successful with $420,000 towards a $1.3 million project to expand its salmon processing facility, creating an estimated 14 new jobs.
And National Pies in Hobart will receive $695,000 to purchase freezing equipment and manufacturing, supporting access to wider markets. The $1.8 million project will create 12 ongoing jobs.