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24 June, 2021

Support for local manufacturers

Regional manufacturing is being boosted with three Far Northern manufacturers sharing more than $930,000 to adopt cutting-edge technology, grow their business and create local jobs.

Northern Chemicals owners Sue, Byron and Barry Cooper with Minister Butcher (left) and Michael Healy (right). Atherton Metaland owners Murray and Tracy Lammert with Minister Butcher.

The funds are being provided through the Queensland Government’s Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program.

Cleaning product manufacturer Northern Chemicals will receive a $127,590 grant to install a 2,000-litre Ribbon Blender which will automate its chemical production line, increase supply and allow the company to keep manufacturing and employ staff.

Northern Chemicals is the only manufacturer of specialised cleaning products in the region, and During COVID-19, provided an essential service to many industries and the local community with the manufacture of hand sanitiser gel.

Northern Chemicals’ Managing Director Barry Cooper said the government support went a long way to help sustain its business, and imbue confidence in our local economy.

“This grant has enabled Northern Chemicals to increase its workforce by two and we will be looking to further increase that number by two more this year,” he said.

Cairns-based high-tech signage company Status Signs will also receive a $134,461 grant to install a suite of equipment including a CNC routing machine with camera eye registration, CNC Cutting table and Laser Cutter, a UV Printer, and automated software. 

“This latest automated technology will help to maximise our current and future client requirements, employ five additional staff, and provide upskilling opportunities to our current workforce,” said Status Signs Managing Director Rhys Carmody.

“Furthermore, precision, quality and output will be increased through this new automated system that will link our production line.”

Steel fabricating and shed building business, Atherton Metaland will receive $673,978 to purchase and install state-of-the-art machinery, specifically an all-in-one multitasking CNC beam line, so it can compete more effectively, increase market share, and enter a new market or export.

The company specialises in the design, supply and construction of small and large commercial and industrial structures, such as farm sheds and the hangars completed at Mareeba Airport and Herberton Fire Station.

“The grant will help us to transform our current work practice into an advanced manufacturing enterprise, service a greater area and increase staff numbers by up to 15 whilst also protecting the jobs of our current skilled staff,” said Atherton Metaland Director Murray Lammert.

Minister for Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water Glenn Butcher said partnering with the private sector to strengthen the manufacturing industry was an important part of the State Government’s economic recovery plan. 

Since January 2020, the Cairns Manufacturing Hub has invested more than $4 million in 13 local companies, supporting the generation of 76 new jobs, whilst protecting 459 jobs.

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