Federal funding to boost Gippsland jobs


A $20 MILLION federal government industry and business spend in Gippsland is forecast to create more than 1200 new jobs, including almost 260 positions in the Wellington municipality.

The funding, secured through the Regional Jobs and Investment Package, will be shared between 19 organisations to invest in projects that stimulate investment and create jobs in Gippsland.

Gippsland MHR Darren Chester joined Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday in the Latrobe Valley to announce the successful applicants, which includes five businesses in Wellington Shire.

“This $20 million investment from the federal government will help drive economic growth and create jobs in Wellington, Latrobe and Baw Baw local government areas as part of the federal government’s response to the closure of Hazelwood Power Station,” Mr Chester said.

“There’s no doubt the closure of Hazelwood has had a profound impact on the Latrobe Valley.

“But the impacts have been spread across neighbouring communities, with many employees and contractors also affected in Wellington and the Baw Baw shires.

“The jobs and investment package provides a great opportunity for the private sector to work with government on projects that will make the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland economically stronger and more vibrant.

“The announcement of the successful recipients of funding through the Regional Jobs and Investment Package will help to further support local jobs and energise our communities.”

The Federal Government’s $20 million investment is part of its $43 million Hazelwood investment package.

Organisations to receive federal government funding include:

• Bambach Wires and Cables, which will receive $2.9 million to establish an advanced low voltage cable manufacturing facility and refurbish its existing factory in Rosedale, creating 47 construction jobs and 55 ongoing positions;

• DefendTex, which will receive $1.5 million to build a manufacturing and testing facility for propellants and explosives at Dutson and become the base for the company’s resonance acoustic mixing facility to support the developments of rocket motors, creating 25 construction jobs and 60 ongoing positions;

• Australian Sustainable Hardwoods in Heyfield, which will receive $1.2 million for its twin band resaw value recovery project to maximize the recovery of timber and minimise sawdust and wood chip waste, creating 14 construction jobs and 40 ongoing positions;

• Gippsland Rotary Centenary House, which will receive $900,000 to build 13 independent units and other infrastructure to accommodate patients and their families undergoing treatment at Latrobe Regional Hospital, creating 25 construction jobs and two ongoing positions;

• Audentes Investments, which will receive $123,600 to increase the value of medium and low value wild catch seafood products by extending its processing and chilling facilities in Sale and buying specialised processing and packing equipment, creating five construction jobs and four ongoing positions;

• Fabpro Group, which will receive $100,000 to build a cordless factory that uses solar power and modular battery storage in Rosedale, creating two construction jobs and seven ongoing positions;

• Mecrus, which will get $3 million to build a large scale hydroponic strawberry glasshouse in Hazelwood to provide Australia’s first and largest protected environment for growing premium strawberry varieties, creating 80 construction jobs and 138 ongoing positions;

• Latrobe City Council, which will receive $2 million to fund its Morwell CBD revitalisation project to transform Morwell town centre, creating 12 construction jobs and an estimated 300 ongoing positions; and

• Cool Group of Companies, which will receive almost $1.75 million to build an integrated manufacturing, sales and logistics facility in Morwell, creating nine construction jobs and 19 ongoing positions.