Western Sydney manufacturers receive innovation funding

Friday, 08 May 2020

The Morrison Government is backing targeted small and medium manufacturing businesses in Parramatta, the Hawkesbury, and Macarthur to modernise and adapt as they grapple with the impact of the coronavirus.

The Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF) is supporting 200 projects across Australia. Over $1.1 million has been awarded to five western Sydney manufacturers:

  • Milliken (Australia) in Parramatta
  • Cathrx in Parramatta
  • Firefeast (Kurrajong Kitchen) in the Hawkesbury
  • OmniTanker in Macarthur
  • Laserbond in Macarthur

Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said the funding package would support Western Sydney local jobs.

“This targeted funding package will help Western Sydney manufacturers to apply innovative technologies to their business which will help create new business and economic opportunities,” Senator Payne said.

“Western Sydney is a dynamic region for manufacturers - it’s a launchpad for national and international businesses, and the MMF will assist these businesses to adapt, expand and thrive.”

Omni Tanker’s Managing Director, Daniel Rodgers, said the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund would help his Macarthur-based business to grow.

“Omni Tanker is an advanced manufacturing company which designs and manufactures specialised carbon fibre composite tanks for the chemical transportation industry. The company is growing and expanding into international markets including the United States and Europe, and is the first Australian company to export bulk liquid transportation tanks for aggressive corrosive chemicals,” Mr Rodgers said.

“The MMF has provided the company an opportunity to expand its specialised manufacturing capability by commissioning the Automated Waterjet Manufacture Cell for fibre reinforced composites and build on collaborative research that it is being undertaken with the University of NSW School of Engineering.

Kurrajong Kitchen’s CEO & CO-Founder, Karen Lebsanft, welcomed the funding announcement.

"We are extremely proud to remain an Australian family owned food manufacturer in Greater Western Sydney.  With the help of the MMF we continue to invest in our 27 years baking from the Hawkesbury, New South Wales.

We recognize the struggle to keep food manufacturing on shore and are very pleased to be supported in our efforts to do so.  Proudly growing from a team of two to a team of 30, we encourage Australians to #readthelabels when making their choice online or in store for Australian Made & Australian Owned food labels"

Shaneel Deo, Managing Director of Milliken, said the funding boost would support manufacturing jobs across Western Sydney.

“Australia has the ability to create a modern and vibrant manufacturing industry that can compete effectively with any country. It is great to see that the federal government is investing in modernising the manufacturing sector,” Ms Deo said.

“In the post Covid-19 world, support from government will be crucial in revitalising the manufacturing industry. We will see this benefit particularly in Western Sydney where the manufacturing industry provides vital employment for thousands of Australians.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the projects are expected to create 2,600 Australian jobs and were about preparing Australian manufacturing beyond COVID-19 and the challenges of today.

“We established the MMF before the coronavirus pandemic to help small and medium sized manufacturers to invest in capital equipment and new technologies to transform and upgrade their manufacturing operations,” Minister Andrews said.

“Now as we face the coronavirus pandemic and look to come out the other side stronger, this investment will be more critical than ever.

“I am determined to further strengthen Australian manufacturing and the current pandemic gives us the opportunity as a nation to reassess and commit to the values of Australian-made goods.”

The MMF builds on other Federal Government investments in manufacturing growth and competitiveness, including the $100 million Advanced Manufacturing Fund, the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, and the $40 million Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre.

For more information on the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund visit www.business.gov.au/MMF.

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