Page MP Kevin Hogan and Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, John McVeigh at this morning's announcement.
Page MP Kevin Hogan and Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, John McVeigh at this morning's announcement. Alison Paterson

1000 jobs to be created with $17 million worth of projects

MORE than 1000 jobs ranging from robotics, medicinal cannabis, tourism, aged care and food exports will be created across the Northern Rivers thanks to $17 million worth of Federal Government grants for nine job-creating projects.

The projects, which are funded under the Government's Regional Jobs and Investment Programme, will offer people living and working in the region a range of employment and investment opportunities across a wide range of industries.

Federal member for Page Kevin Hogan said the nine projects will create more than 500 direct and at least another 500 indirect jobs.

"In terms of wages, this is an additional $50 million that will be coming into our community each year," he said.

"The recipients of these grants are matching the funding, taking the total value of the projects to well over $36 million (and) these projects are game-changers and will provide greater opportunities for job seekers of all ages."

The projects are:

  • Relocation of world-leading robotics firm Adaptapack's state-of-the-art facilities to the Northern Rivers creating more than 100 new skilled jobs. These jobs will include marketing and mechanical and electrical engineering. The company will also be working with education providers such as TAFE and the university ($1.5 million)
  • Fast-tracking Solaris Nutraceuticals' (formerly known as PUF Ventures) medicinal cannabis processing facility at Casino which will employ more than 280 people ($2.5 million)
  • Expansion of the Whiddon Group's Kyogle Aged Care Facility providing almost 100 construction jobs and increasing the permanent workforce to more than 40. The additional 23 beds also mean older community members will not be forced to move away from family and friends ($4.7 million)
  • Major upgrade of Culmaran Creek Road to unlock barriers to growth of existing agri-business, such as Mara Seeds, creating 26 jobs ($1.7 million)
  • Oz Group Export Ready Innovation Program to expand the export market of blueberries and implement advanced technology, modified atmosphere and robotics, creating more than 30 jobs ($1 million)
  • Establishment of Intellectual Vision's raw food hub at Nana Glen, creating about 80 jobs ($400,000)
  • Upskilling of Northern Rivers Food Producers for Food Tourism ($30,000),
  • Expansion of Oneva Holding's macadamia processing facility to make nut-based cheese for domestic and international markets, creating 10 jobs (147,000)
  • Stage 1 of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail that will revitalise small communities along the route, underpin the tourism industry as well as boosting destination appeal encouraging visitors to stay longer and inject more money into our local economy. Figures for a completed rail trail show a base case of 88,000 visitors per annum, direct expenditure from visitors would be $18 million a year providing 60 direct jobs and 300 indirect jobs for a total of 360 jobs.

Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, John McVeigh, said the projects were funded after an extensive assessment process involving strong community input.

"The initiative is part of the Federal Government's commitment to stimulate jobs and drive economic growth in Australia's regions," he said.

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