The Coalition Government has committed $132.25 million for regional manufacturing and economic development projects to boost innovation and jobs in the regions.

Under the Coalition Government’s Energy Security and Regional Development Plan, this funding targets investments in key manufacturing and economic development projects across regional Australia.

$2 million of this funding has been secured to co-invest in the expansion of Costa Group’s Distribution Centre in East Devonport, which packs both Costa and Driscoll’s growers berries.

Liberal Member for Braddon, Gavin Pearce, said supporting local manufacturing and agriculture processing projects in Braddon and Northern Tasmania will have a positive impact on the economy and provide more employment opportunities over the long term.

“Regional Australia makes a significant contribution to Australia’s manufacturing capability and the Coalition Government is committed to seeing this grow,” Mr Pearce said.

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, was in Braddon to make the announcement and said this funding will double the size of the existing centre, create new jobs and support the industry to achieve a farm gate value of $315 million by 2026.

“The berry industry makes a significant contribution to our food and beverage sector and the wider Australian economy,” Minister Taylor said.

“This project is a great win for regional Tasmanian jobs as well as the local grower network.”

Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, said over 30 per cent of Australia’s manufacturing jobs were in regional areas, and that the manufacturing industry is particularly important to regional economies.

“The Coalition Government is committed to supporting economic growth and jobs in regional areas, including building the manufacturing capability of regional Australia,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Building a strong regional manufacturing sector is a key priority of the Coalition Government for a stronger, more resilient economy and a stronger future.

“Only the Coalition Government has a plan for Australians to build a strong and sovereign manufacturing sector for Australians to make more of what we need in Australia.”

This funding announcement is in addition to the Coalition’s Plan for manufacturing which includes:

  • $2.5 billion under the Modern Manufacturing Strategy to support manufacturers to scale up, collaborate, commercialise and deliver on the world stage.
  • $2.2 billion for a ten-year University Research Commercialisation Action Plan to drive collaboration between industry and universities.
  • $69 million for a new Sovereign Manufacturing Automation for Composites Cooperative Research Centre to support Australian composite manufacturers to modernise and automate to gain a competitive edge.