Kyabram Free Press

Drum enjoys tour of million-dollar build

- By Myles Peterson

Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum was in Kyabram last week to inspect a new $1.1 million build at JN & R Engineerin­g on Mccormick Rd.

Fifty per cent of the cost of the new building was funded by the Federal Government.

The $554,589 business innovation grant was made under the Federal Government’s Regional Jobs and Investment Packages scheme and matched by JN & R Engineerin­g.

“This project will increase the production capacity and technologi­cal capability of JN & R Engineerin­g Pty Ltd to manufactur­e the highest quality of components for its agricultur­al machinery in-house,” the successful applicatio­n granted in 2020 read.

“It will increase direct employment and sales in the region and will provide quality control for major export growth to the North American market.”

Originally a family-based operation founded by Kyabram’s John D’angelo in the 1970s, the manufactur­ing business has grown into a national and internatio­nal exporter of specialise­d agricultur­al machinery.

Successful grant recipients were primarily judged on their ability to deliver jobs, according to Mr Drum.

“This was an opportunit­y where we're able to invest with local companies mainly based around employment,” he said.

“The big driver was the opportunit­y to employ a larger number of people allowing us to co-invest with them. (However,) effectivel­y it was up to each of the applicatio­ns to stand up on its own merits.”

JN & R Engineerin­g director Gino D’angelo said the grant had allowed the business to increase its manufactur­ing base and employment levels, but he did not view it as a government handout.

“You're not just getting given money, it’s a co-investment,” he said. “We matched the government dollar for dollar.”

Mr D’angelo thanked Perta Thomson Partners for helping with the applicatio­n and said seeking profession­al financial advice was a key factor in securing government grants.

The director lamented increasing capacity was only half the battle. The other half was attracting the necessary skilled labour.

Mr Drum agreed, saying getting skilled labour into the regions was one of his primary objectives as the local federal member.

“When you build your relationsh­ips and your friendship­s with people like the D'angelo family you realise the work that they're doing, but you also realise the challenges that they face,” he said.

Other successful recipients of the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages scheme in the local region include KY D-pak Pty Ltd, which received $535,000, and Girgarre’s Symbiopro Pty Ltd ($100,000) and Australian Consolidat­ed Milk, which received $2.5 million.

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 ?? ?? Increasing capacity: Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum and JN & R Engineerin­g founder John D’angelo and director Gino D’angelo at the business’s new facilities on Mccormick Rd.
Increasing capacity: Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum and JN & R Engineerin­g founder John D’angelo and director Gino D’angelo at the business’s new facilities on Mccormick Rd.

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