REGIONAL businesses in WA have been allocated more than $864,000 to help boost areas adversely affected by dairy deregulation.
The funding is part of $2.36 million allocated nationally from the Federal Government's Dairy Regional Assistance Program (RAP) and is an extension of the original program introduced in 2000.
Federal Agriculture Minister Warren Truss said the dairy RAP was set up to stimulate investment and job growth in communities heavily dependent on the dairy industry and needing extra support because of deregulation.
³The program provides direct assistance to rural Australians in dairying areas wanting to set up new or expand existing industries, creating jobs and private sector investment in rural Australia," he said.
³This round of Dairy RAP creates partnerships between the Australian Government and the private sector to support rural communities."
He said every project announced as part of the latest round had seen at least a 50pc financial contribution from other sources, principally private investors.
Mr Truss said the projects being funded in the tenth and final dairy RAP round would help create up to 117 jobs and support $4.1m in private sector investment in rural areas.
³All up 18 projects in a diverse range of dairy communities across the country will receive funding,² he said.
The single largest amount of $636,364 was allocated to WA¹s Goldlevel Enterprises P/L, Dardanup, for the expansion of their poultry abattoir.
Other projects included:
p $56,500 to PT Industries in Dalby, Queensland to increase its production of PTO Mate, a unique tractor and machinery safety device that addresses one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury on Australian farms;
p $388,149 to All Saints Estate in the Albury and Wodonga to manufacture and showcase handmade specialty cheeses from locally sourced cow, goat and sheep milk;
p $63,590 to Grove Vineyard in Margaret River, WA to develop a range of liqueurs made from locally grown fruit and nuts.
³I praise the ongoing hard work and dedication of the nationwide network of Area Consultative Committees (ACCs) in helping applicants develop their funding proposals,² Mr Truss said.
The ACCs were comprised of community members who understood their local areas and had the expertise to turn a good idea into a funding proposal for a project that would provide employment and economic benefits.
He said the funding reinforced the Federal Government¹s commitment to regional and rural Australia.
³Dairy RAP has a proven record of empowering local communities by backing their ideas, their initiatives and their vision for the future,² he said.
³To date Dairy RAP has provided around $63.6m to 345 projects over its four year life, helping to boost the economic and social wellbeing of communities across the country and has also attracted private investment of over $225m to rural communities.²