The first successful applicant for a grants programme to strengthen Geelong’s industrial sector has been announced, with Carbon Revolution awarded $5 million to help it build a facility at Waurn Ponds.
A joint announcement today from federal industry minister Ian Macfarlane, federal MP Sarah Henderson, Victorian manufacturing minister David Hodgett and Victorian MP made it known that Carbon Revolution was the first successful applicant in the first round of the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund (GRIIF).
GRIIF is a tripartite program worth $24.5 million, funded by the federal and Victorian governments and Ford Australia, which will close its Geelong plant in 2016.
Carbon Revolution (formerly CFusion) had detailed its plans to invest in the Waurn Ponds site last year. The company makes high-performance composite wheels for automobiles.
“This project shows the depth of the Australian manufacturing sector and is an example of the type of innovative and high-tech manufacturing that Australia can excel in, as the sector undergoes major transformation,” said Macfarlane during a site visit.
The company’s application states they will spend over $23.8 million on “a manufacturing facility to allow the commercial scale production of carbon fibre wheels for supply to the automotiveindustry.”
According to Carbon Revolution, 108 jobs would be created with the assistance of the grant. The region’s manufacturing employment has been dealt recent blows by Ford’s announcement last May, and the news last month that Alcoa’s Point Henry smelter would close this year.
“The Geelong region has absorbed significant shocks in recent weeks and months, but these new investments are a show of confidence in the region and in the change of direction that is taking place in Australian manufacturing,” Macfarlane added.
The minister’s statement said that further GRIIF Round One announcements “will be made shortly”.
Applications for Round 2 grants are open until 5 pm on May 29 and can be made through AusIndustry’s website. For more information, click here.