Aussie manufacturers given federal grants to modernise through pandemic

Aussie manufacturers are in for a bit of a boost from the federal government, which will hopefully create much needed jobs.

The Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF) will see around 200 projects worth more than $215 million supported, with the federal government contributing $48.3 million.

It’s understood the fund was developed before the coronavirus pandemic, to help small and medium sized Aussie businesses transform and upgrade, to become more competitive in the global market.


Though, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews says this funding will now go a long way to ensure these businesses make it through the current crisis.

“The Federal Government is committed to helping Australian manufacturers prepare for the future and to employ more Australians. More than 2,600 new jobs are expected to be created by these successful projects.

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

“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,” Minister Andrews said.

It’s understood that grants totalling $35 million will go towards 59 companies for large scale projects worth over $177 million, while $13.3 million in grants will go to 141 small scale projects worth over $38 million.

One of the large scale projects set to receive a grant is the production line that will bring back the iconic Polly Waffle! (a marshmellow-stuffed wafer tube drowned in chocolate)

That project alone will create around 38 jobs in South Australia.

For more information on the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund, click here.

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Merit based lol. Will be very interesting to see the actual number of real jobs created through some of these Manufacturing Modernisation grants across several recipients. Unfortunately whilst we had expected that this would be a great opportunity to be provided with assistance to invest in improving processes and business opportunities when it comes to calculating real jobs generated through adding technology improvements is a bit like pie in the sky. In most cases investment in capital equipment and technology improvements help to retain employment with some potential additional growth if this opens new markets or opportunities. For some of the grants provided to certain manufacturers on the list I would question any actual increase in the addition of higher paid and higher skilled employees. As one never hears of the final “real” numbers of jobs created maybe a little fudge factor goes a long way in determining success and receival of these types of grants. Maybe the Minister overseeing the grants process could answer how this is proven to be the actual case.

The manufacturing sector definitely needs the support now to upgrade their processes and be globally competitive or to just survive. The MMF closed in October 2019 before COVID-19 was invented. We lodged several successful applications for clients. While the media release suggested 2600 new jobs will be created, the actual measure used by the MMF was additional “head count”, not Full Time Equivalents. Successful applications that fail to generate the additional head count will not be required to repay the grant. Competitive grants always require the applicant to lodge the most compelling case that meets the program objectives. If only half the recipients are successful, it will be a decisive win for Australia. With over 1000 grants worth $50b available annually, the MMF is a minor funding contribution to Australian business which could have a significant impact. Will a second round be announced?

Unfortunately still a massive waste of tax payer money to provide a grant which was based on an increase in “headcount” and not FTE and again not requiring the numbers to be guaranteed by the recipient. The compelling case was to improve technology within the manufacturing operation and increase skills development of your workforce to allow growth into new markets based on the capacity improvements the technology provides. A lot of pie in the sky spin in some of the applications that have been provided funding in this grant round.