Funds to fuel jobs growth

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addresses media outside of the Gippsland Rotary Centenary House, following the announcment of $20 million of federal funding to 19 local businesses and organisations. photograph hayley mills

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addresses media outside of the Gippsland Rotary Centenary House, following the announcment of $20 million of federal funding to 19 local businesses and organisations. photograph hayley mills

More than 1200 new jobs are expected to be created across Gippsland following a $20 million federal investment to be shared between 19 local organisations and businesses.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the funding during a visit to the Gippsland Rotary Centenary House on Thursday.

"Obviously you get periods of transition, particularly when you have big industrial plants close, like the closure of Hazelwood," Mr Turnbull said.

"It is important that the government is supporting community projects and innovative industries to ensure there are strong jobs growth here now and into the future, for everybody."

The $20 million investment forms part of the federal government's $43 million Hazelwood investment package and businesses, organisations and projects were chosen due to their capacity to stimulate investment and create jobs in Gippsland.

"There is a wide range of initiatives, really innovative initiatives like the hydroponic strawberry growing project, and a lot of innovation in the timber section too," Mr Turnbull said.

"It is great to come here with federal money to support projects, but it is the real enthusiasm of the people in the room, Gippsland people enterprising, innovative, creative, courageous, optimistic, getting up and having a go and investing, and with some support in the right environment, lower taxes for small to medium companies."

Businesses and organisations that received a cut of the federal funding include Mecrus, BamBach Wires and Cables, Latrobe City Council, Cool Group of Companies, Australian Sustainable Hardwoods, Gippsland MTB, Gippsland Rotary Centenary House, Baw Baw Shire Coucnil, Gippsland Logging and Earthmoving, Kempe Process Equipment, Utilitas Group, Neerim District Soldiers Memorial Hospital, Fabpro Group and KND Maintenance.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the $20 million funding announcement was "very welcome" but would not "solve all our problems overnight".

"There's no doubt the closure of the Hazelwood [Power Station] has had a profound impact on the Latrobe Valley," he said.

"This is a great investment today, but there is always more to be done and I think we need to keep working together as a community to achieve that."

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