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Queensland Government grant brings Australian-first to marine industry

Innisfail company Kelly’s Australia is poised to take advantage of the growth in the marine maintenance industry, thanks to $443,500 of funding from the Queensland Government’s Manufacturing Hub Grants Program.

The funding has helped Kelly’s, a proud First Nations owned and operated business with nine staff, to purchase an Australian-first remote-control robotic tool developed specifically for the shipping industry, Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher said.

Glenn Butcher

“This machinery provides a safe and efficient means to remove coatings from ship hulls and similar surfaces – and also significantly reducing the risk of environmental damage during the process.”

“The grant provided an excellent example of the multiple benefits to businesses through the introduction of advanced manufacturing technology.

“The Manufacturing Hub Grants Program is designed to support regional manufacturers to adopt leading-edge technology and processes, help boost their business and create jobs,” Mr Butcher said.

“The support provided through the program by the Queensland Government now puts Kelly’s at the forefront of marine maintenance in Australia.

The new technology will enable Kelly’s to operate more efficiently, upskill four employees while also providing a safer working environment for those staff.

Just as importantly, the Hammelmann DOCKBOY technology will also allow the company to operate in a more environmentally friendly manner.”

Having recently celebrated 25 years in business, Kelly’s Australia Manager Bill Kelly said the grant would provide an important platform for the future of the company.

“Thanks to this support from the Queensland Government we can now continue to grow our business and look to employ more locals,” Mr Kelly said.

“This area is one of four hot spots in Australia where this type of work is becoming a thriving industry and there will be knock-on benefits for the entire region,” he said.

“We’re already working closely with local shipyards like Norship and Austal and this new equipment will allow us to provide more services, faster.

“We’ve been around for 25 years and with this new equipment, we’re in a great position to push on and continue to grow over the next 25 year and beyond.”

Through the Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program, the Queensland Government is helping to strengthen the state’s regional manufacturers and creating jobs.

The future of the far north manufacturing sector has been given a further boost with the Palaszczuk Government announcing permanent funding for the Cairns Manufacturing Hub, as part of a $17.75 million statewide boost for manufacturing.

Minister Butcher said the Palaszczuk Government’s investment in Manufacturing Hubs and Made in Queensland Grants has created and supported nearly 6000 jobs to date.

“Manufacturing already contributes $20 billion a year, to the state’s economy and employees and we want to see that grow even further,” Minister Butcher said.