Bundaberg businesses grasping opportunities with both hands

Monday, 5 October 2015

Assistant Minister for Science Karen Andrews and Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt today congratulated two Bundaberg businesses on taking advantage of the Coalition Government’s $476 million Industry Skills Fund (ISF).

Speaking at a Community Science Forum at CQUniversity, Mr Pitt announced Doneman’s Pool Centre and Hummock Farms had successfully applied for funding to upskill staff and broaden the services they offer.

“Doneman’s will receive $3960 to train three staff to expand the pool and spa servicing side of their business, to compensate for the weakening demand for new pools locally,” Mr Pitt said.

“Hummock Farms is expanding to offer pre-packaged, pickled and dehydrated vegetable products. Hummock Farms will receive $1580 to train five staff in food safety supervision, to work in their commercial kitchen.

“Both of these businesses are to be commended for evolving to meet the change in market demand.

“Programs like the ISF are vital in ensuring we have highly qualified and skilled people in regional communities across Australia.”

Ms Andrews, who was special guest at the Community Science Forum, said the two ISF grants were provided in addition to those announced in March for two Hervey Bay businesses.

“Hinkler businesses are leading the charge; grasping opportunities with both hands and I encourage more local businesses to apply,” Ms Andrews said.

“The ISF is just one of the ways we’re helping regional businesses, so they can diversify and take advantage of new market opportunities.

“Helping businesses grow and compete in an increasingly global market creates jobs and boosts the local economy.”

Mr Pitt said Hinkler businesses had until December 1 to apply for funding under Round 2 of the Coalition Government’s Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit Program.

“The programme encourages collaboration between industry, researchers and Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) on projects that will deliver real benefits on the farm,” Mr Pitt said.

“At the 2013 Federal Election the Coalition promised $100million for the R&D for Profit Program, and we’ve committed a further $100 million as part of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper to extend the program out to 2020-2021.”

For more information about the Industry Skills Fund go to www.business.gov.au/industryskillsfund or call 13 28 46.

For more information about Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit Program for to www.agriculture.gov.au/rd4profit

For the full list of speakers at the Community Science Forum go to www.keithpitt.com.au/news