A $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund is the centrepiece of the state’s budget, which promises to capitalise on strong growth by supporting eight priority industries and renewable energy investment by state-owned energy organisations.
The budget was handed down by the Queensland government on Tuesday afternoon.
The Jobs Fund represents a packaging of existing industry support programs, along with a new one and a previously announced $1.5 billion boost for clean energy and hydrogen projects under the Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund.
The new innovation initiative in the fund is a $350 million Industry Partnership Program (IPP) aimed at small to medium enterprises and research institutions in the state, and designed to strengthen supply chains and grow industries’ footprint in Queensland.
The IPP will support Queensland’s priority industries, ranging from mature ones like mining to fast growing ones like defence, resource recovery, space and aerospace, as well as emerging ones like biomedical, biofutures and hydrogen.
Organisations that successfully apply for the IPP will receive “tailored support packages” including case management, facilitation of development or environmental approvals, use of government land and government procurement, as well as direct financial support, according to the state government.
“[The IPP] will deliver cross-sectoral opportunities that unlock growth in multiple industries or supply chains and have a broad impact on the economy,” Deputy Premier and State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Minister Steven Miles said.
The first $20 million of the IPP will go towards the development of a new Translational Manufacturing Institute at the existing Translational Research Institute in Brisbane.
“This will create high-skilled jobs in Queensland and could lead to the development of life saving vaccines,” Mr Miles said.
The program will also work in conjunction with federal funding programs like the Australian government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative, which also targets several of the Queensland priority
Two other project have been announced as receiving IPP funding so far. Another $43 million will go towards the Building Acceleration infrastructure fund, while $26 million of the IPP will be used over four years to implement strategies and roadmaps for priority industries.
One of the biggest winners in the budget are state owned energy companies, which will now have access to a much larger Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund.
The government quadrupled the previous renewables fund of $500 million and added hydrogen projects.
The fund will primarily be used by publicly owned energy organisations like energy generator, CleanCo, which plans to build, own, and operate the $250 million 102.6MW Karara Wind Farm in the Darling Downs.
The build is expected to take three years and CleanCo also has plans for a gas fields development and infrastructure works at several of its power stations.
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