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State Govt fund to create "more than 3200 jobs"

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Fifty-seven projects will be funded through South Australia’s future jobs fund, creating 3200 jobs, the State Government announced today.

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The Government said the applicants would share grants worth more than $40 million and loans of nearly $10 million, however it has not revealed the names of most of the winning businesses.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the Government funds would trigger a total investment of $275 million, with 1800 of the prospective new jobs being in construction.

Six winning businesses have been announced publicly – Minda, Como Glasshouse, Berry Sensation, Connecting Up, Sea Dragon Lodge and MG Engineering.

Weatherill said the successful applicants would be announced once they had considered the conditions of the grants and loans and accepted the offers.

The Government received 432 applications for the $200 million fund, announced as a centrepiece of this year’s State Budget.

It was to be funded through a tax on major banks, but the Government had to reshape its budget after the Parliament rejected the tax and it decided to drop the measure.

The fund’s grants and low-interest loans are available to businesses and non-government organisations to create jobs in key sectors identified by the Government: health and biomedical research; IT and advanced manufacturing; renewable energy and mining; shipbuilding and defence; and tourism, food and wine.

One of the few recipients identified so far, Port Adelaide shipbuilder MG Engineering, said it would use its grant to acquire machinery, upgrade its slipway and build a new workshop, creating an anticipated 64 new jobs.

The company said the State Government would fund half of the $2.5 million expansion.

The Government would award a second tranche of mostly loans from the fund, with applications being assessed now.

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said the Government had received an “overwhelming” response to the future jobs fund, which he interpreted as an endorsement of the South Australian economy.

“What we have here is almost 60 businesses who want to go out and create more than 3200 jobs in high-growth industries for the future,” he said.

– InDaily

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