Govt to of­fer $10M for ru­ral de­vel­op­ment

Central Telegraph - - NEWS -

WHILE sur­round­ing re­gions are home to the high­est level of recorded un­em­ploy­ment in Aus­tralia, busi­nesses are be­ing given the op­por­tu­nity to help turn things around.

The first round of the State Gov­ern­ment’s Ru­ral Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Grants pro­gram has

$10 mil­lion up for grabs with ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est ap­pli­ca­tions clos­ing to­day (Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 26).

Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­tural In­dus­try De­vel­op­ment and Fish­eries, Mark Furner said the RED Grants were avail­able to help fund agri­cul­tural-re­lated projects that can gen­er­ate em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to ru­ral Queens­lan­ders.

“Up to $250,000 is avail­able as a match­ing co-con­tri­bu­tion to suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants,” Mr Furner said.

“The pro­gram sup­ports “shovel-ready” projects that cre­ate jobs re­lated to pri­mary pro­duc­tion and pro­vide sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic ben­e­fits to ru­ral and re­gional com­mu­ni­ties.”

Mr Furner said ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est re­ceived to date rep­re­sent a wide range of agri­cul­tural in­dus­tries and lo­ca­tions from across re­gional Queens­land.

“Pro­pos­als so far for this ini­tial round have come from sec­tors such as live­stock, hor­ti­cul­ture and aqua­cul­ture,” he said.

“Of those the to­tal projects are worth some $14 mil­lion and have the po­ten­tial to cre­ate more than 120 new long-term jobs in ru­ral and re­gional Queens­land.

“Some projects are look­ing to value-add to ex­ist­ing ru­ral busi­nesses, while oth­ers are look­ing to de­velop new prod­ucts for do­mes­tic or ex­port mar­kets,” he said.

Ex­pres­sion of In­ter­est for Round One must be re­ceived to­day with suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants then in­vited to sub­mit a full ap­pli­ca­tion.

Busi­nesses re­lated to the pri­mary pro­duc­tion sup­ply chain are en­cour­aged to ap­ply.

There will be a fur­ther two rounds of fund­ing avail­able un­der the pro­gram for projects that may not be ready to progress for this cur­rent round.

For more in­for­ma­tion of the RED Grants, visit the QRIDA web­site at www.qrida.qld.gov.au /red­grants.

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