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Government grants $4.8m to component firms
Product boost: Christopher Pyne (right) with Multislide Industries managing director Rod Rebbeck (left) and federal member for Hindmarsh Matt Williams.
More than $15m investment in parts sector to flow from latest diversification grants
22 January 2016
TEN Australian automotive parts-makers have received $4.8 million in federal
government grants to boost investment in the local manufacturing industry as
Ford prepares to close its factories in October this year and Toyota and Holden
follow suit in 2017.
Ranging from $101,691 to $1 million, the grants are from the third round of the
federal government’s Automotive Diversification Program (ADP) that allows
automotive manufacturing businesses to diversify into other industries before
local car production ceases.
Four of the 10 successful applicants are from South Australia, and four are
from Victoria – the two states hit hardest by the manufacturing exit of the
Robert Bosch and Maxiplas Injection Moulding each received $1 million, bringing
their total grants to $6.2 million and $2.5 million respectively.
Robert Bosch received the funds to develop and install a high-precision
assembly line to produce diodes “for export, new customers and new
applications”, while Maxiplas will commercialise a range of space-efficient
stackable and foldable solutions for the transport logistics market.
ZF Lemforder was granted $603,500 for production of a side-tipping option for
large transport machines in the mining, construction and agriculture
industries, Harrop Casting Technologies (in a joint venture with Australloy)
received $516,970 to establish a full production facility for copper
heat-exchanger castings, and Luna Nameplate Industries received $441,122 for
purchasing equipment to produce various new products for export to Asia, Europe
and the United States.
Premcar received $300,000 to buy a five-axis milling machine to make low-cost
tools and parts, Backwell IXL received $345,000 to manufacture components for
new-generation wide-screen gas log heaters, Multislide Industries was granted
$259,100 to help introduce product-forming capabilities, “enabling local
designers to produce high-end furniture efficiently and at practical volumes”,
and Quality Plastics and Tooling received $230,000 to design and make packaging
for the food industry.
Finally, Orbital Australia received $101,691 for compliance testing of its
defence propulsion system.
In announcing the grants at Multislide’s factory in Adelaide this week, federal
industry and innovation minister Christopher Pyne said the $4,797,383 in
government support would generate a total of $15,052,619 in investment.
To date, the ADP has supported 31 diversification projects and, according to
the government, is expected to drive almost $50 million investment in
“This investment enables our manufacturers to move to a new model that’s
characterised by the kind of innovation and spirit the government is fostering
through its new National Innovation and Science Agenda,” Mr Pyne said.
“This is key to our commitment in ensuring a strong and sustainable high-value,
globally competitive manufacturing industry in Australia.”
The Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) said most of the money was
industry investment and not a government handout. Applicants investing in their
businesses receive grants on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
“The government’s $4.8 million grant has been more than matched by the
successful applicants collectively investing over $10 million from their own
funds,” said VACC executive director Geoff Gwilym.
“I want to make this very clear – this is not a government free kick.
“All successful grant applicants are making significant investments in
Mr Gwilym said the funding will assist Australian companies build new lines of
business in local and international markets.
“It will leverage the considerable competencies they have developed in the
technically demanding and cost-competitive automotive supply sector,” he said.
He also called for the government to boost the available funding to component
manufacturers and allow the ADP to have individual company submissions, without
the current system of batching.
The ADP, which will run for four years ending in 2017/18, is part of the $155
million federal government’s ‘growth fund’ that was established to support
employees, businesses and regions affected by the closure of Australia’s car
manufacturing industry by 2017.