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B2004/29 - More than $1m to create jobs on the Atherton Tablelands

Leader of The Nationals in the Senate, Ron Boswell, today announced more than $1 million in Australian Government funding for three projects on the Atherton Tablelands through the latest round of the Sustainable Regions Programme.

Announcing the grants in Mareeba, Senator Boswell said the latest announcement brings to more than $8.9 million the total amount granted to the Atherton Tablelands under the programme.

“I am confident these projects will help increase jobs and economic opportunities on the Atherton Tablelands,” Senator Boswell said.

“Mareeba’s Southedge Seeds will receive a $508,000 grant to expand and enhance their seed processing capabilities by building and fitting out a new processing plant with improved technology. With the new, more efficient technology, Southedge Seeds is planning to expand the number of farmers they contract to grow seed from 40 to around 70, as well as employing more people directly in the expanded plant,” Senator Boswell said.

“$410,000 will go to Cairns Marble to purchase machinery that will enable them to increase capacity of marble quarrying operations at Chillagoe in the Mareeba Shire. The overall project will result in 17 new permanent full time jobs in and around the Chillagoe marble quarries, and will have significant spin offs for transport operators on the Tablelands,” he said.

“A project to build a health spa and associated accommodation as part of an expansion at Eden House in Yungaburra (Eacham Shire) will receive a $186,300 boost from Sustainable Regions to create an expected 4 new full time positions and up to 25 jobs during the construction phase.”

Senator Boswell said: “The grants announced today will address a number of regional priorities. They encourage enterprise development, they will help to broaden the economic base on the Tablelands and will create new jobs and skills development opportunities.

“The Atherton Tablelands has access to up to $18 million under the Sustainable Regions programme which is helping communities in selected regions meet the test of major economic, social or environmental change,” Senator Boswell said.

“The projects funded build on the strength of the existing businesses, and provide opportunities to diversify production.”

Today’s announcement brings to 27 the total number of Sustainable Regions projects approved for the Atherton Tablelands region which are helping to secure a more prosperous and sustainable future for the Atherton Tablelands community.

ENDS

Further details – Leah Nicoll 0407 132 284