More than $61 million in manufacturing grants have been poured into Western Australia in the final stages of the election campaign following changes by the Coalition last year which brought announcements in line with the current campaign.
On Friday, Industry minister Angus Taylor announced eight Western Australia businesses would share in $61.5 million in grants from the Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI).
The funding comes from the $280 million second round of the MMI Integration and Translation Streams, which was fast-tracked by the Coalition late last year, giving companies only a month to submit applications.
Winners from Western Australia were announced in a joint release from Mr Taylor and Liberal Senator for Western Australia Michaelia Cash.
Recipients include Pilbara Minerals, which will get $20 million for a sustainable lithium concentration project to be developed in partnership with technology company Calix, and Lynas Rare Earths, also receiving $20 million for the commercial production of rare earths in Australia.
The other grants announced are each less than $5 million and shared among Western Australian medtechs, recycling, food and resource companies.
“Through our Modern Manufacturing Initiative we’re backing businesses like OncroRes Medical, which is being supported with up to $4 million to develop world-leading new medical imaging technology to support surgeons by accurately facilitating detection of residual tumour during breast cancer surgery,” Mr Taylor said in a statement.
“This would provide the surgeon and the patient confidence that no residual cancer remains and reduce the risk of requiring further surgery.”
Other Western Australian companies announced to be receiving funding from the second round of the MMI Integration and Translation Streams include:
- Adarsh Australia — $3.2 million for a wastepaper and cardboard recycling production line.
- Alba Edible Oils — $4.2 million for domestic manufacturing of its naturally crushed and purified oil.
- Metso Australia — $4.7 million for a mining service centre in the Pilbra region.
- Striker Australia — $3.4 million for a crushing and screening manufacturing facility.
Labor has criticised the timing of announcements from the Coalition’s Modern Manufacturing programs, claiming announcements have been brought in line with the election campaign and some even deliberately held back for maximum political impact.
In Western Australia, the Coalition is facing an uphill battle to retain the 10 seats it holds in the state, with some analysts tipping Labor will pick up several in next week’s poll.
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