More jobs for rural and regional Victoria24/02/2021
The Victorian Government is delivering on its commitment to support regional businesses and communities to recover and thrive, with new funding ready to help companies grow jobs and attract investment.
Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas today launched the new round of the Government’s Regional Jobs Fund with the release of updated guidelines, making more money available for businesses to help our regional cities and country towns become even better places to live, work and invest.
The Regional Jobs Fund is part of the Victorian Government’s flagship Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund and is designed to help businesses create more jobs in regional Victoria, support community projects and support councils to build the infrastructure locals and visitors need.
The new round was launched during the opening of a new hay processing facility at St Arnaud, constructed thanks to a Regional Jobs Fund grant under the previous round.
The recently-completed facility is the West Australia-based hay processing and export company Gilmac Pty Ltd’s sixth Australian production site and its second in Victoria after its operations in Goornong, north east of Bendigo. The Government’s investment gave the company confidence to grow its business in Victoria, enabling it to create 17 new full-time equivalent roles in St Arnaud.
Gilmac accounts for one quarter of Australia’s hay and straw exports and the new facility at St Arnaud will enable the processing and exporting of hay grown within a 100km radius of the town, providing a boost the local economy.
When running at full capacity, the facility will be able to press up to 80,000 tonnes of hay per year and generate exports sales into Asian markets. Gilmac has previously worked with a number of hay suppliers in the St Arnaud area and the new facility will lead to reduced transport costs, while potentially creating new supply opportunities for other local farmers.
The new round of the Regional Jobs Fund will be open throughout the year to companies seeking to grow their operations. The Fund is part of the Government’s flagship Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund.
The Fund is key to the Government’s $8 billion investment across regional and rural Victoria unveiled in the Victorian Budget 2020/21 to support communities to recover and bounce back stronger than ever. More details about the upcoming round of the Regional Infrastructure Fund and the Accelerating Readiness streams will be available in coming months.