The Jobs and Regional Growth Fund is backing industry projects that are boosting regional economies and creating jobs. Since launching in February 2017, the fund has attracted applications from Queensland industry looking to kick-start big-thinking projects. The fund has already created hundreds of new jobs and is driving significant capital investment.
With additional applications nearing final approvals, it is anticipated that the fund will continue to be a catalyst that boosts jobs and the economy for regional Queensland.
Read about some of the projects that have been successful so far.
JBS, one of Australia’s largest meat processors and exporters, has created a targeted employment program to hire displaced meat workers affected by the closures of other meat processing facilities in Queensland.
JBS, who already employs over 5,500 people in its Queensland operations, is now able to offer employment to 400 displaced meat workers from the Ipswich region thanks to assistance from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.
Hawker Pacific is an aviation firm with hangar facilities at Cairns Airport. Through Jobs and Regional Growth Fund assistance, Hawker Pacific is contributing to the growth of the aviation sector in Cairns with its $4.5 million hanger expansion.
By expanding its facilities by 50%, Hawker Pacific will be able to better compete for heavy maintenance work, particularly on turboprop and jet powered commercial aircraft from around Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Pacific nations. This is work that may otherwise go to Asia or Europe.
The fund has ensured that Hawker Pacific has the ability to secure that work here in Queensland, and is expected to create an additional 39 ongoing jobs in Cairns by September 2021. Construction of the hangar will support an additional 50 jobs.
Many of the new operational staff will be sourced from the Cairns Aviation Skills Centre, with the project providing a valuable pathway for graduates.
Swickers Bacon Factory and SunPork Commercial Piggeries
Despite having its facilities ravaged by fire in late 2016, Swickers has kept its eye firmly on the future, taking the opportunity to not only rebuild its existing operations, but to capitalise on changing markets and growth opportunities.
Assistance from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund is supporting a $103.5 million expansion of the Swickers Bacon Factory at Kingaroy and the SunPork Commercial Piggeries near Warra. As Queensland’s only export-accredited pork abattoir, the expansion will increase supply and double processing capabilities.
The expansion will also enable Swickers to implement the latest technology and innovation available to its industry. This is a project that will stimulate the long-term economic growth of Queensland’s pork industry that has great potential for further expansion.
The expansion of the bacon factory and the commercial piggeries is creating up to 110 new long-term jobs and up to 100 construction jobs.
Bio Processing Australia
Jobs and Regional Growth Fund assistance is accelerating the development and construction of Bio Processing Australia’s $50 million biorefinery in Mackay.
The biorefinery, to be co-located at Mackay Sugar’s Racecourse Mill, will be a commercial-scale facility. It will have the capacity each year to produce up to 26,000 tonnes of soymeal, 2000 tonnes of yeast products for the animal feed market and 15 mega litres of biodiesel suitable for the heavy transport fuels market. This project will provide significant employment and economic development benefits to the Mackay region.
Construction is expected to commence upon completion of the feasibility study and final investment decision. This project will help position the Mackay region as an emerging bio-industry hub.
The biorefinery will create up to 45 long-term and highly-skilled operational jobs. The construction of the facility will also create up to 70 construction jobs.
Cape York Timber
With assistance from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, Cape York Timber has secured a business loan unlocking its ability to expand its commercial timber mill operations in Cooktown.
Cape York Timber selectively and sustainably harvests hardwood from Indigenous and state-owned land from across Cape York. The support is enabling the business to expand its capacity producing high-quality Australian hardwood.
The social enterprise has now created an additional 5 jobs and provides valuable local Indigenous employment and training across its moulding and finishing, woodchip, and administrative operations. The assistance is helping Cape York Timber to realise its vision for growth and the continuation of creating sustainable employment opportunities in Cape York, especially for local Indigenous people.