The McGowan Government is backing local industry in the Wheatbelt region in the latest round of the Regional Economic Development (RED) grants.
Thirteen projects have been supported to share in $925,587 in Round 3 grants to help create new jobs and expand local businesses in the region.
Three Farmers Australia will use its $95,000 grant towards cultivating a high value, niche market for low gluten oats by developing quality assurance and storage protocols to grow and process the grain. This will increase the business’ productivity and create a value-added market for farmers.
A $42,500 grant will assist the Noongar Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Boya Business Solutions to deliver training to upskill Aboriginal enterprises, procuring agencies and corporate entities to compete for contracts. Training will include aspects of administration, information technology and marketing.
West Hills Farm will use its $100,000 to purchase a new carrot prepacking machine to increase capacity and generate more than 12 jobs, while WA Sandalwood Plantation’s $100,000 grant will purchase mobile tree chipping equipment, boosting efficiencies and creating 46 jobs in the next four years.
The latest announcement of funds is in addition to the $1.3 million approved for 15 projects in the Wheatbelt from the previous two rounds of RED grants.
The McGowan Government has committed an additional $5 million to extend the initiative for another year – with a total of $33.8 million directed to RED grants over six years for projects that will directly benefit regional communities.
As stated by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“The extraordinary range of applicants in this year’s REDs has shown that our regions are front and centre in WA’s economic bounce-back.
“These exciting projects cover a range of diverse initiatives in the region, from tourism and agriculture to Aboriginal employment projects. Many of the grant recipients are pioneering new industries, including low gluten oats, passionfruit, goat dairy products, dates and eucalyptus oil.
“We look forward to seeing these projects up and running, bringing local employment and longer term benefits to local communities.”