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Jobs and Regional Growth Fund success stories

The Jobs and Regional Growth Fund supported industry projects that boosted regional economies and created jobs.

Read about some of the fund's success stories.

  • Formerly known as the Longreach Saleyards, the Western Queensland Livestock Exchange is undergoing a four-stage revitalisation by AAM Investment Group (AAMIG).

    Under a commercial arrangement with the Longreach Regional Council, AAMIG has completed the $3.2 million second stage enabling the recommencement of regular sales events. AAMIG now expects a throughput of 100,000 head of cattle each year by 2026.  Support from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund to AAMIG and the Building our Regions fund to Longreach Regional Council  accelerated the delivery of the project.

    The Western Queensland Livestock Exchange transformation is delivering an innovative, best-practice facility that acts as a funnel for livestock from across the west in support of Queensland’s multi-billion-dollar beef industry.

  • Alliance Airlines is establishing a $60 million maintenance repair and overhaul facility at Rockhampton Airport.

    In recent years, Alliance has grown rapidly and expanded from resources-based operations to conventional passenger and freight services.

    The facility will maintain Alliance’s growing fleet of aircraft that currently has major maintenance activities carried out overseas.

    Roughly 100 new long-term operational jobs including at least 16 local traineeships and apprenticeships are expected to be created by 2024, many of which will be highly skilled aircraft maintenance engineers.

  • Allweld, a Maryborough-based truck and transport fabricator, has expanded its premises to help it diversify into new markets thanks to support from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

    Allweld design and manufacture a range of customised transporters including prime movers, tippers and trailers as well as fire, rescue and ambulance vehicles and marine craft. The project will enable Allweld to continue to innovate and target new markets including defence and aerospace.

    The family-owned company will increase its existing workforce by more than 40 per cent over four years with 12 new full-time jobs to be created by 2024, including four apprenticeships.

  • Aquaworks is a key supplier in the bottled water industry with operations in Babinda, south of Cairns. With assistance from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, Aquaworks is undertaking a $5 million redevelopment of its Babinda Springs Mega Water Factory.

    In addition to expanding the facility’s footprint, new state-of-the-art bottling equipment will be installed. Once operational, the expanded facility will support an additional 39 long-term jobs. The greater development program will eventually include a cellar-door shop front for passing tourism trade selling local gourmet produce.

    Babinda is well-known for its high rainfall and the project will capitalise on the region’s most abundant natural resource – water. Aquaworks’ expansion program and the significant increase in production capacity will stimulate work and long-term economic opportunities in the region.

  • Australian Mines’ Sconi Project is a proposed cobalt and nickel mine to be located near Greenvale, about 250 kilometres west of Townsville.

    The $1.5 billion project would support an estimated 500 jobs over a two-year construction period and create 289 long-term positions once fully operational.

    Cobalt and nickel are key minerals used in the production of lithium-ion batteries, the power plants at the heart of electric vehicles.

    Support for the project is subject to the securing of offtake agreements and a final investment decision.

  • The Jobs and Regional Growth Fund supported Beenleigh Steel with its $4.2 million facility expansion in Berrinba.

    Operational for more than four decades, the company’s structural steel is at the core of new developments including Queen’s Wharf, Cross River Rail, the Gabba and North Queensland Stadium.

    Beenleigh Steel’s new facility will double its floor space and production capacity and will create at least 59 new jobs over five years.

  • With assistance from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, Cape York Timber has secured a business loan unlocking its ability to expand its commercial timber mill operations in Cooktown.

    Cape York Timber selectively and sustainably harvests hardwood from Indigenous and state-owned land from across Cape York. The support is enabling the business to expand its capacity producing high-quality Australian hardwood.

    The social enterprise has now created an additional 5 jobs and provides valuable local Indigenous employment and training across its moulding and finishing, woodchip, and administrative operations. The assistance is helping Cape York Timber to realise its vision for growth and the continuation of creating sustainable employment opportunities in Cape York, especially for local Indigenous people.

  • Supported by the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, the Clermont Showgrounds and Saleyards precinct has undergone a $1 million revitalisation. Completed in early 2021, the revitalisation project was managed by Isaac Regional Council and supported 21 construction jobs.

    The project included:

    • electrical, water and IT upgrades
    • the development of a 20-year masterplan for the site
    • construction of 60 individual horse stables
    • six sets of spelling yards
    • a designated livestock crossing.

    The Clermont Show is one of Queensland’s oldest regional events which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2018, and the neighbouring saleyards is one of Queensland’s most significant trucking cattle centres.

  • The Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation in Camooweal is refining its spinifex harvesting operations and developing a pilot processing facility, thanks to support from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

    The project has initially created 11 Indigenous jobs. However, there may be opportunity to expand to commercial operations once the applications for spinifex are fully realised. Spinifex potentially has high-value applications in the latex, paper, plastics and rubber industries.

    The traditional owners have collaborated for many years with The University of Queensland to help uncover the unique properties of spinifex that has in turn led to Australia’s most advanced nanocellulose technology.

    The Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation hope the project’s success will allow it to act as a model that can be replicated across remote and regional areas enabling other Indigenous communities to benefit from the harvesting and processing of spinifex.

  • Roma-based livestock producer and meat processor Elliott Agribusiness is undertaking an $800,000 expansion of its meat processing plant.

    Support from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund is helping to accelerate the project that will see the construction of a secondary processing area with additional chiller and storage space. With the resurgence in the lamb industry, the additional capacity will allow the company to process more product for its customer base of high-quality boutique butchers in South East and South West Queensland as well as increase it contract processing for local livestock producers.

    The project will enable the family-owned enterprise to create an extra 12 jobs over three years to 2023, more than doubling its existing workforce.

  • Farmfresh Fine Foods, based in Bundaberg, is expanding its food processing facility.

    Featuring state-of-the-art production and packaging capabilities, the $4.3 million expansion will increase automation, reduce costs and enable additional production shifts. The expanded facility will support the creation of an estimated 24 extra operational jobs.

    The project will boost Farmfresh Fine Foods’ competitiveness against importers who have been dominating the market for sweet potato products as well as to expand their markets for other vegetable products including zucchini, capsicum and pumpkin and eggplant.

  • Gin Gin and Dry, a gourmet dried foods business in the Wide Bay Burnett region, has expanded its processing and manufacturing capabilities in a project that will double its employees and inject $5.1 million per year into the local economy.

    The company uses innovative drying methods to preserve locally grown produce including mangoes, pineapples, semi-dried tomatoes, apples and ginger. The Australian dried fruit sector is worth $88 million a year and this $2.2 million expansion project will enable Gin Gin and Dry to increase current annual production from 27 tonnes to 80-100 tonnes.

    The Wide Bay Burnett region is continuing to diversify its traditional manufacturing and food production and processing industries, and this project is a great example of a small company developing niche markets for innovative produce that has domestic and international appeal.

  • Based in Bundaberg, Grillex designs and manufactures a wide variety of commercial outdoor community infrastructure including electric barbeques, street and park furniture and shelters.

    With support from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, the company accelerated by two years the construction of a new $3 million facility that will help them meet growing demand in both domestic and international markets.

    The new facility includes a 2680 square metre warehouse and office complex featuring the latest in manufacturing technologies on the assembly line, boosting Grillex’s global competitiveness. When fully operational, the facility will support 15 new jobs.

  • HeliMods, a Caloundra-based aerospace company, will undergo a significant state-of-the-art expansion at its advanced manufacturing and aircraft modification facility.

    The $10.3 million expansion project will enable the company to increase its capacity for civil contracts and to scale-up into high-value aerospace and defence contracts.

    Up to 68 new jobs will be created at HeliMods including a range of engineering roles, IT and software development and commercial and support positions.

    Support from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund is assisting the company to accelerate the expansion project by five years.

  • In mid-2020, Maryborough’s iconic supplier to the Australian building industry, Hyne Timber, completed construction on its $23 million glue laminated timber plant.

    The new advanced manufacturing timber facility will support the creation of more than 40 new long-term jobs and focus on the large-scale production of glue laminated timber.

    Local production of engineered timber is a growing market in Australia and is a natural extension of Hyne’s extensive experience in the timber business. The product has applications in the residential and mass timber construction markets and is sustainable, cost effective, high strength and aesthetically pleasing.

  • A feasibility study was completed by Imperium 3 on the development of a lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in Townsville. Imperium 3 is an international joint venture led by Boston Energy and Innovation, Magnis Resources and Charge CCCV LLC.

  • JBS, one of Australia’s largest meat processors and exporters, created a targeted employment program to hire displaced meat workers affected by the closures of other meat processing facilities in Queensland.

    JBS, who already employs over 5,500 people in its Queensland operations, offered employment to displaced meat workers from the Ipswich region thanks to assistance from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

  • Jet Aviation, formerly known as Hawker Pacific is an aviation firm with hangar facilities at Cairns Airport. Through Jobs and Regional Growth Fund assistance, Jet Aviation is contributing to the growth of the aviation sector in Cairns with the completion of its $4.5 million hanger expansion.

    By increasing its hangar facilities by 50%, Jet Aviation is able to better compete for heavy maintenance work, particularly on turboprop and jet-powered commercial aircraft from around Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Pacific nations. This is work that may otherwise have gone to Asia or Europe.

    The fund ensured that Jet Aviation has the ability to secure that work here in Queensland.

    Already a significant employer in Cairns, Jet Aviation has created an additional 39 highly skilled jobs, including a significant number of local apprenticeships.

    Many of the new operational staff are graduates of the Cairns Aviation Skills Centre that is training the future workforce of the region’s aviation sector.

  • John Dee’s meat processing facility at Warwick underwent a multi-million-dollar expansion is helping transform  the company into one of Queensland’s leading processors of premium beef. John Dee is a fourth-generation, 100 per cent family-owned business, and the oldest single-family owned meat processor in Australia.

    Completion of the Regional Cold Store, including the installation of state-of-the-art automation technologies, positions John Dee for future growth opportunities to sustainably increase its premium beef export market share.

  • With support from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, Laminex has reopened the Carter Holt Harvey timber processing facility in Gympie, after it was announced in early 2019 that the facility would be closed.

    Laminex has employed former Carter Holt Harvey employees. The Gympie Monkland manufacturing plant will continue to process timber and will produce particleboard flooring to meet growing market demand.

    Securing new investment in this timber manufacturing facility is a great example of the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund supporting jobs for regional Queenslanders.

  • The $7 million Mackay Resources Centre of Excellence, delivered in partnership with Mackay Regional Council, was completed and opened in mid-2020.

    Mackay is one of Queensland’s major resource industry support hubs and the centre will leverage off existing local expertise and further advance the state’s vision for the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector. The world-class centre will drive research and innovation, increase export opportunities and provide safer and more accelerated training options for students and apprentices.

    The facility features an Underground Simulator Mining Facility, control room, workshop, laboratory and classrooms. The coal mine simulator spans more than 6800 square metres and replicates the physical conditions of working underground. This ‘living lab’ environment provides a wide range of capabilities across training and education; product research and development, demonstration and filming; and enables new emergency response procedures to be tested and improved.

    Close-to-real conditions provides a controlled environment that greatly assists with product innovation and demonstrations.

  • Marciano Table Grapes, one of Australia’s top grape growers from Mildura, is establishing a $10 million horticultural project in Hughenden.

    The company will cultivate a minimum of 80 hectares of grapes. It will be the first development under the Flinders Shire Council’s 15 Mile Irrigated Agricultural Development project that is diversifying industries in the region.

    The location will allow Marciano to take advantage of the warm weather in Hughenden to grow early season grapes that are available in October and November. The locally grown grapes will reduce the need for imports from California and will come with the longer shelf life and lower quarantine risk.

    The project will create at least 34 new full-time equivalent jobs by 2025. The new jobs will be a combination of permanent staff, those on-site over the six-month growing period, and then up to 90 to 100 people required over the three-month harvest.

  • Global demand for macadamias is booming and with local cultivation expected to double in the next 10 years, Marquis Macadamias will expand its Bundaberg processing facility to boost capacity.

    Marquis Macadamias is Queensland’s largest macadamia processor located in Bundaberg – the largest macadamia growing and producing region in Australia. The company sources crop from 180 shareholding growers.

    Supported by the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, the expansion is expected to create 40 new jobs at the facility and increase processing capacity.

  • Attracted to Queensland by the government’s commitment to developing a biofuels industry, Mercurius established a biofuels pilot plant in Mackay.

    Co-located at the Queensland University of Technology’s Biocommodities Facility, Mercurius will use its patented REACHTM technology to produce valuable renewable chemicals, diesel and jet fuel from sugarcane waste

    During the three-month trial, representatives from QUT will work alongside Mercurius to examine the technology and valuable by-products to enhance commercialisation opportunities in Queensland.

  • Mort & Co’s operations at Grassdale, west of Toowoomba, has become Australia’s most significant cattle feedlot with a job-creating and innovative $35 million expansion project.

    Supported by the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, the expansion has increased the throughput of the feedlot by an additional 80,000 cattle per year. The project includes the installation of a gas-fired power station and the construction of an innovative, fertiliser manufacturing facility.

    As of mid-2020, the expansion project has created 55 new long-term operational jobs. Additionally, downstream meat producers indicated around 115 full-time jobs will be created at regional abattoirs.

  • Mungalli Creek Dairy, at Millaa Millaa on the southern Atherton Tablelands, has completed construction on a new milk processing facility that is set to create 24 new operational jobs. The new $3 million facility accommodates milk processing, yoghurt and cheese production, and features cold rooms and packing areas.

    Established in 2000 and one of the largest employers in Millaa Millaa with more than 60 employees, Mungalli Creek Dairy is one of two certified biodynamic dairy farms in Australia. With growing demand for biodynamic dairy products, the facility’s modern and efficient equipment will increase productivity and will allow the business to grow market share and become export compliant.

  • Oreco Group, an Australian-owned horticultural and garden products business invested $20.8 million into expanding its production facilities in Childers, near Bundaberg. Support from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund accelerated the delivery of the project by three years and will allow the rapidly growing business to quadruple production, introduce new product lines and increase its logistics capability.

    The new manufacturing hub will allow Oreco to diversify its product offerings with additional mulches, fertilisers, and animal feeds and bedding, and target new export markets.

    The company’s expansion will create 140 new jobs for the region including machinery operators and drivers, technicians and trade workers, clerical and administration workers.

  • Qualipac is a family-owned, horticultural business with vegetable growing operations across the Lockyer Valley and Darling Downs. The development of a Produce Service Centre at Inglewood near Goondiwindi valued at $1.2 million will help meet growing demand for fresh produce in both domestic and export markets.

    Qualipac’s new centre will provide the facilities and services to turn fresh produce grown in the area into retail-ready products and will be well-served by its proximity to the Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport.

    A regionally-significant 21 new jobs will be created in the first three years. Qualipac currently supports employment for over 120 workers


  • A $60 million shell forging plant has been developed by Rheinmetall Nioa Munitions in Maryborough, and is set to create up to 100 full-time jobs.

    The shell forging plant will be one-of-a-kind in Australia, will add to the country’s sovereign military capabilities and will bring significant investment and long-term economic benefits to Maryborough.

    Jobs created through this project will offer training opportunities, will create highly skilled career prospects and will provide long-term, stable incomes in a regional community. This is a great example of the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund supporting a project that aligns with the Queensland Government’s priorities for economic growth and its industry roadmaps supporting the advanced manufacturing and defence industries.

  • Signature OnFarm, part of the Angus Pastoral Company, is establishing its own on-farm boutique abattoir at its Sondella station, 125 km north-west of Moranbah.

    The state-of-the-art, small-scale facility will be export accredited and will be capable of servicing up to 200 head of cattle a day when fully operational. Locating the abattoir just 500 metres from the feedlot will improve animal welfare and result in a superior finished product.

    The facility will create more than 80 new jobs and as the property is reasonably remote, the project will also include the construction of an on-farm workers village.

  • The $35 million Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network project was jointly funded by the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund and Sunshine Coast Council.

    The project delivered the first, direct landing into Queensland of a new international fibre optic submarine cable and provides Australia’s fastest data and telecommunications transmission speeds to Asia and the second fastest to the USA.

    RTI Connectivity laid a 550-kilometre undersea branch cable from the new 9700-kilometre Japan-Guam-Australia South submarine cable. The branch cable connects to the network at a purpose-built landing station in Maroochydore. The landing station has been built with the capacity to accommodate up to four submarine cables, futureproofing that will ensure additional cables can be connected quickly and efficiently.

    The project will be a great incentive in attracting new business and industry, particularly organisations with big data requirements. High-capacity data connectivity straight into the economic powerhouses in Asia will be a massive stimulus for the local and wider Queensland economies, creating jobs and encouraging investment well into the future.

  • Despite having its facilities ravaged by fire in late 2016, Swickers kept its eye firmly on the future, taking the opportunity to not only rebuild its existing operations, but to capitalise on changing markets and growth opportunities.

    Assistance from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund is supporting a $103.5 million expansion of the Swickers Bacon Factory at Kingaroy and the SunPork Commercial Piggeries near Warra. Currently, as Queensland’s only export-accredited pork abattoir, the expansion will increase supply and double processing capabilities.

    Swickers has now completed the expansion of the bacon factory at Kingaroy with a capital investment of $64 million. The expansion has enabled Swickers to implement the latest technology and innovation, making the facility the most advanced in Australia and one of the best in the world. The Swickers facility will stimulate the long-term growth of the state’s pork industry for at least the next 30 years.

    The expansion has helped push employment numbers at the Kingaroy facility past the 800 mark with more new jobs created than originally expected. As one of the South Burnett’s largest employers, Swickers is a vital economic element of this regional community.

  • Vorstrom, a Southern Downs manufacturer of specialty vacuum tanks for the collection and transport of liquid waste, will double its production capacity through a $1.5 million expansion project.

    The Warwick-based family-owned business designs, builds and services a wide range of vacuum truck models with capacity up to 24000 litres, including liquid waste trucks, industrial vacuum trucks and hydro excavation trucks.

    The project, supported by the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, will enable Vorstrom to build a new manufacturing facility with new technologies that will also reduce the reliance on imported parts and equipment and create an additional 22 jobs over five years.

  • Western Meat Exporters (WME), Queensland’s largest sheep and goat abattoir, is developing a $8.2 million expansion at its facility in Charleville.

    The expansion will boost the facility’s sheep processing capacity from 100,000 to 460,000 per year. With the closure of the state’s last major sheep meat processor in 2016, the project will restore this capability to a commercial scale in Queensland.

    Already Charleville’s largest private employer, WME’s expansion will create 60 new jobs. Most of these jobs will suit young people including school leavers and will provide much needed job opportunities for young people wishing to remain in the region.

Last updated: 25 Jul 2022