Northern Rivers continuing to thrive

by | Feb 25, 2018

It’s the hidden gem of NSW and thanks to the Federal Government, the Northern Rivers is about to experience an industry and jobs boom with over 1,000 jobs set to be created due to $17 million in grants designed to turbo-charge industries in the area..

Medicinal cannabis, tourism, aged-care, robotics, and food production are just a few of the industries set to thrive in the Northern Rivers. The grants, made under the Regional Jobs and Investment Programme, are expected to create up to 500 direct and 500 indirect jobs as companies, incubator programs and entrepreneurs now have the means to grow their businesses – pumping $50 million into the Northern Rivers each year.

Federal Nationals Member for Page Kevin Hogan was on hand to announce the winners of the grants, with the new jobs expected to pump $50 million into the Northern Rivers each year.

“These projects are game-changers and will provide greater opportunities for job seekers of all ages. The recipients of these grants are matching the funding, taking the total value of the projects to well over $36 million,” he said.

The projects set to benefit are:

  • The relocation of world-leading robotics firm Adaptapack’s state-of-the-art facilities to the Northern Rivers creating more than 100 new skilled jobs. These jobs will include marketing and mechanical and electrical engineering. The company will also be working with education providers such as TAFE and the university ($1.5 million);
  • Fast-tracking Solaris Nutraceuticals’ (formerly known as PUF Ventures) medicinal cannabis processing facility at Casino which will employ more than 280 people ($2.5 million);
  • Expanding the Whiddon Group’s Kyogle Aged Care Facility providing almost 100 construction jobs and increasing the permanent workforce to more than 40. The additional 23 beds also mean older community members will not be forced to move away from family and friends ($4.7 million);
  • A major upgrade of Culmaran Creek Road to unlock barriers to growth of existing agri-business, such as Mara Seeds, creating 26 jobs ($1.7 million);
  • Expanding Oz Group Export Ready Innovation Program to increase the export market of blueberries and implement advanced technology, modified atmosphere, and robotics, creating more than 30 jobs ($1 million);
  • Establishing Intellectual Vision’s raw food hub at Nana Glen, creating about 80 jobs ($400,000);
  • Upskilling of Northern Rivers Food Producers for Food Tourism ($30,000);
  • Expanding Oneva Holding’s macadamia processing facility to make nut-based cheese for domestic and international markets, creating 10 jobs (147,000);
  • Finding for Stage 1 of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail that will revitalise small communities along the route, underpin the tourism industry as well as boosting destination appeal encouraging visitors to stay longer and inject more money into our local economy. Figures for a completed rail trail show a base case of 88,000 visitors per annum, direct expenditure from visitors would be $18 million a year providing 60 direct jobs and 300 indirect jobs for a total of 360 jobs.