$18 million for Murray-Riverina diversification projects

Media Release

WT151/2015

21 May 2015

Joint release with:

John Barilaro

NSW Minister for Regional Development
NSW Minister for Skills
NSW Minister for Small Business

Twenty-one projects which will help grow and strengthen the rural NSW economy have been granted almost $18 million of Australian Government funding through the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Programme.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the funding was to assist Murray-Darling Basin communities increase economic diversification and adjust to a water constrained environment.

“Under the $100 million Australian Government programme, the Basin States of NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia each select projects for funding in consultation with the Australian Government,” Mr Truss said.

“The 21 projects selected for funding in NSW will lead to the creation of around 250 jobs in the State, and will help businesses and communities impacted by the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.”

NSW Minister for Regional Development John Barilaro said the NSW Government secured Australian Government funding of up to $32.5 million for economic development projects and diversification initiatives in the State.

“This funding will assist projects that will create new jobs and increase the economic output of local and regional economies in the Murray-Riverina,” Mr Barilaro said.

“More than 100 funding applications were received, a fantastic response, with 21 successful projects now confirmed after rigorous assessment and recommendation by an Independent Panel.

“The 21 projects receiving funding come from a diverse range of industries, from manufacturing to aquaculture, cheese-making to grain processing.

“In particular, the Independent Panel sought out projects that involve the development of sustainable partnerships with government, the private sector or not-for-profit organisations to support joint investment in regional communities.”

The remaining $14 million will be negotiated by the Federal and State Governments in accordance with the program objectives of delivering economic diversification in the Murray Darling Basin.

A full list of the 21 Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Programme projects is at ‘Attachment A’ below. For more details on the programme, visit http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/

Attachment A

Albury

Frauenfelder Gates Unit Trust, the only regionally based company manufacturing rural fencing products in Australia, has been awarded funding to bring forward the purchase of two new barb wire machines and create up to 9 new jobs.

Berrigan

McCormacks Cabinets is expected to create up to 5 new jobs with funding awarded to support the construction and fit out of a new showroom and purchase of new equipment to increase production capacity. The company has a good reputation as a business that recruits, trains and develops regional apprentices.

MON Natural Foods, a manufacturer of table sauces and mayonnaise products for the retail grocery industry has been awarded funding to expand their production line facilities to increase the production of mayonnaises and salad dressings, expected to lead to the creation of up to 9 new jobs.

Tocumwal Pumps has been awarded funding to invest in new technology to improve manufacturing efficiency. The investment will help digitally recreate key pieces of production materials, including digitising, laser scanning, computer modelling and 3-D printing of patterns. The project is expected to create at least 3 new jobs.

Coolamon

The Coolamon Cheese Company has been awarded funding to purchase and restore the original Coolamon Co-operative building (built in the early 1920s) to house a boutique cheese making facility utilising Riverina milk. The development will establish an iconic agri-tourism destination, with guided tours and cheese making courses, and is expected to create up to 16 new jobs.

Corowa

Corowa Distilling is set to create more than 25 new jobs with funding awarded to bring forward the establishment of a new distillery for the production of organic whisky from Riverina barley. Once the distillery is established guided tours will be available, increasing visitor numbers to the region.

Deniliquin

Charlie Carp has been awarded funding to buy drying equipment for carp by-product and to help the company diversify into producing pellet fertiliser, with the investment expected to create up to 5 new jobs.

Griffith

Compost Carbon Fertiliser has been awarded funding to build a composting and dispatch facility to treat extensive waste from large wine producers. CCF is taking a different approach to traditional composting by adding additional raw materials with a low nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) base. The company expects to create more than 15 new jobs with the investment.

MC Croker has been awarded funding to expand its export grain storage and processing facility for its speciality grains and develop a new opportunity in the Asian market. Croker Grain will work with Riverina based barley producers to grow barley for shipment to food processing plants in NSW and Singapore. The investment is expected to generate 11 new jobs.

Fresh Technique has been awarded funding to invest in new technologies to diversify from wine grape growing to hydroponic farming of leafy salad greens, a move set to up to 16 new jobs for the company.

Riverina Aquaculture has been awarded funding to diversify from broad acre farming and lift Murray cod production from 18 tonnes a year to 72 tonnes. Funding for this project will allow further expansion of this on-farm diversification. The project also includes construction of a hatchery for cost control and better management of fish stocks, and is expected to lead to the creation of more than 52 new jobs.

Greater Hume

Greater Hume based bulk handling and silo manufacturer Kotzur and St Paul's secondary College at Walla Walla have been awarded funding to bring business grade internet services to Walla Walla via either fibre optic cable or microwave technology. The funding will enable all businesses in Walla Walla to access data and VOIP capabilities at 200 Mbps and the investment is expected to create up to 21 jobs.

Leeton

Pyrocal has been awarded funding to establish and create 8 new jobs at a new facility in Whitton that will use waste to manufacture ‘bio-char’ (charcoal which can be added to soils to improve soil functions and to reduce emissions from biomass) and bio-char processing equipment.

Murray

Rabar Animal Nutrition's manufacturing facility in Moama has been awarded funding to help better automate the plant and improve its quality assurance system, with an expected 2 jobs to be created. Upgrades will include installation of 2 50m3 silos, 6 bulk bag unloading bins and a new computerised batch tracking system.

Newtecpoly has been awarded funding to establish a new manufacturing facility at Moama that converts waste plastic into new plastic products. The project is expected to create up to 11 new jobs.

Murrumbidgee and Carrathool

Rivcott in Carrathool has been awarded funding for a power infrastructure upgrade at the Carrathool substation, to support its new cotton gin at Rudd's Point. Up to 23 jobs are expected to be created with this investment.

Narrandera

AgriAustralis' new hazelnut cracking plant at Sandigo has been awarded funding to help fund a power upgrade to bring forward the establishment of the drying and cracking facility. The investment is expected to create up to 27 new jobs and provide wider community and regional benefits through increased power supply.

Pro Ten has been awarded funding to upgrade the electricity supply to the site where the company is building 64 new broiler meat chicken sheds. The company expects this investment to lead to the creation of up to 14 new jobs.

Tumut

The Batlow Fruit Cooperative in Tumut will see funding awarded to support local apple farmers to diversity into growing hop varieties used by Australian craft brewers. Batlow apple orchardists can utilise most of the same spraying programs and existing apple trellis infrastructure as well as their high efficiency drip irrigation systems.

Wakool

Forestry Corporation of NSW—Western Branch will see funding awarded to undertake a broad scale assessment of the standing timber volumes on three State Forests and fifty seven Western Land Leases using remote sensing data. The project will help with future growth modelling to determine sustainable yield for sawlogs and other log products.

Chetwynd Park grows, packs and distributes quality citrus and stone fruits. The company has been awarded funding to upgrade their packing and dispatch facilities and introduce of a six lane pre-blemish sorter with Near Infrared (NIR). This state of the art technology includes a new conveyer system which can process 2,800 pieces of fruit per minute into different quality grades. The investment is expected to generate up to 26 new jobs.