A Dalby farm machinery manufacturer that builds the world’s widest crop harvesting platforms is set to double production and create up to two dozen jobs with a $250,000 funding boost from the Palaszczuk Government.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Midwest Fabrication is one of 15 businesses in Queensland to receive a $250,000 Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant to fund the expansion of their current business.
“Midwest Fabrication is Australia’s industry leader for innovative crop harvesting platforms. They are directly involved in improving efficiencies during harvesting time and are the only company in the world to successfully manufacture 60-foot platforms right here in Queensland.” Mr Furner said.
“The $250,000 funding will literally help take their business to new lengths by allowing them to expand their current workshop, so they can safely and efficiently manufacture larger numbers of their 60ft draper platforms.”
“Ten jobs will be created through the construction phase of the project with another 14 direct and indirect jobs created after completion to carry out the operations of the business.”
Director Martin Schutt said the current workshop was too small to manufacture large quantities of the 60-foot platforms and was holding the company back from filling growing orders for their Australian dealer network.
“As the only manufacturer of 60ft platforms in the world we need to be manufacturing a larger number to keep up with customer demand.” Mr Schutt said.
“The expansion will include extending the concrete floor, relocating existing beams to allow for efficient assembly of the platforms and raising the roof height to incorporate two cranes.
“The funding will also be used to upgrade the ventilation system in our painting facilities to enable us to safely coat more platforms with greater factory efficiencies and better-quality finishes. Mr Schutt said.
The Rural Economic Development Grants program offers emerging projects up to $250,000 in co-contributions to build industry and grow employment opportunities across the agricultural sector. The $10 million grants program provides for three funding rounds over a three-year period ending 2021.
A total of 15 businesses have received $3.3 million under the first-round of funding for the RED Grants program. Overall these 15 projects are expected to create over 600 jobs across the agricultural sector in regional Queensland.
Funding for Round 2 of the RED Grants will be announced later this year.
The recent State Budget locked in funding for the remaining rounds of the program, taking the total amount of grants available up to $10 million.
“This program represents the Palaszczuk Government investing in regional jobs now and for the future,” Mr Furner said.
“By supporting regional businesses today we are helping them expand and growing our economy for the future.”
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administer the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
For more information about the RED Grant scheme visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au