Two Bundaberg Manufacturing Businesses to Benefit From Almost $4 Million in MiQ Grants

Image Credit: Queensland Government

The Made in Queensland (MiQ) funding will help two Bundaberg businesses boost their operations and support more than eighty local jobs.

Gleen Butcher, Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing announced the funding at NewFresh Foods in Alloway. NewFresh is an Australian manufacturer of value-added plant-based products and a seller of fresh produce. It is one of the businesses that received MiQ grants. The business received $1.91 million in funding.

“We’ve had COVID, we’ve had floods, now it’s time to do what Queenslanders do best and get back to business,” Minister Glenn Butcher said.

“Manufacturing contributes $20 billion a year, to the Queensland economy and employees and we want to see that grow even further.

“These grants are giving smaller businesses an opportunity to really think big and make those major purchases that would otherwise be out of reach, and at the same time, benefit to the local economy through jobs growth and business growth.” he added.

Bundaberg MP Tom Smith joined Minister Butcher in making the announcement.

“NewFresh Foods is an industry leader across the Bundaberg region, investing into future innovation and further job growth for locals in our community,” Tom Smith said. 

“I’m proud to be part of the Queensland Government and to announce this nearly $2 million in funding which NewFresh Foods will use to add new product lines to its manufacturing and processing capabilities.

“Not only that, but this grant will allow NewFresh Foods to support a total of 52 jobs.  This is an outstanding win for local industry and local jobs.” Smith added.

Geoff Fisher, NewFresh Foods Finance & Technology Coordinator said the company is thrilled to be given the opportunity. The MiQ funding will help NewFresh purchase modern machinery to extract material from crops that were rejected and make them available for sale.

“At the moment, Australian nutraceutical and functional food businesses import these plant extracts for their products. 

“We know in Australia we grow superior food products and so if we can also extract the active ingredients, or the effective compounds, that these companies have identified as ingredients for their products, then all the better,” Fisher said.

“This support is massive for our region, we are bringing high-tech manufacturing back into Queensland, creating skilled jobs away from the capital cities, and this will put us at the forefront of our industry.” he added.

The other Bundaberg business that will be receiving MiQ funding is Aletek Operations. Aletek manufactures heavy-duty exhausts and other mining-related products. The business received $1.36 million in funding to purchase four machines and to support 29 jobs.

“Aletek employs more than 80 Bundaberg locals and services an international market, that is why it is important that the Queensland Government does everything it can to support this business, as they continue to put their best foot forward on the global stage,” Tom Smith stated.

Peter Churchill, Aletek Operations Manager said that the investment will help their business target global mining opportunities in North America, South America, and Indonesia.

Aletek will use the funding to purchase a 3D laser scanner and three state-of-the-art CNC manufacturing machines.

“These three machines represent world-leading technology and will give us a competitive edge as we further expand internationally, manufacturing from our regional Bundaberg facility.” Churchill said.

“Right now, products manufactured here in regional Queensland face up to a 15-business-day turnaround for raw materials. These industry-leading machines will eliminate that delay, increasing our competitiveness in manufacturing both for Australia and overseas. In addition this investment will turbocharge Aletek’s factory floor capabilities and significantly improve our agility when meeting global customer expectations,” he added.

Made in Queensland’s $61.5 million grant program has supported 84 manufacturing projects that created or supported over 1,100 jobs and generated an investment of more than $100 million for the private sector.

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