Thirty-six new jobs will be created in the Gloucester region, with local businesses expanding or other operations relocating there, under the first round of grants from the Gloucester Independent Community Legacy Fund established by AGL Energy Limited (AGL).
AGL established the $2 million fund this year to identify, and allocate funding toward, initiatives that bring sustainable economic benefit or education and employment pathways to the greater Gloucester region.
AGL Executive General Manager Group Operations, Doug Jackson, said today “Following careful and detailed review of applications to the GICLF, the independent panel has recommended four projects to receive combined funding of almost $600,000.
“With AGL currently wrapping up its gas exploration project in the Gloucester region, we wanted to create ongoing opportunities and benefits for the region. I am excited to see that our fund will mean many opportunities for new jobs and business expansions to help bring economic benefit to the community,” Mr Jackson said.
“The successful applicants are investing for growth and a positive future in Gloucester, bringing new business, new technology and new employment opportunities for the people in this region,” Mr Jackson said.
GICLF Independent Chair, Tanya Cameron, said the successful applicants were:
Drifta Camping Kitchens Pty Limited
Drifta builds and sells transportable camp kitchens for campers, tradesmen and travellers including some that are wholesaled to camper trailer manufacturers. Since 2002, Drifta has grown from three staff to over 60, manufacturing seven different product lines that are all related to recreational camping and travelling. GICLF funding will go towards a major expansion of production and storage space and the creation of 20 new full time jobs.
Bercol Logging Pty Limited
Bercol currently employs more than 20 staff and provides harvested and milled timber goods and transportation services from Gloucester. GICLF funding will go towards a project boosting production, improving training in OH&S standards, immediately increasing staff by five and a further three in a second phase.
Woven Image Pty Limited
Woven Image is a designer, developer and manufacturer of interior finishes (e.g. high performance textiles, wallpaper, acoustic wall treatments, room dividers and workstation panels) used to improve the performance and aesthetics of commercial spaces.
The business is a major exporter with products going to India, USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Belgium and Korea. Woven Image is looking to expand its warehousing and production capacity to the Gloucester region initially bringing three new local jobs.
Leveltec Engineering Pty Limited
Leveltec is an engineering manufacturer, manufacturer’s agent and sales organisation providing electrical and mechanical solutions for mining, quarrying, power generation, construction, water and agriculture, with offices in Gloucester, Sydney and Wellington, New Zealand. Leveltec’s project will aim to increase both the capacity of the existing factory and store facilities as well as providing new facilities that will allow more efficient production systems and capacity to introduce new product lines for recently acquired specialty export and local markets. Six new jobs will be created.
Ms Cameron said “The GICLF panel was extremely impressed by the quality of the applications, the forward thinking of the applicants and the benefits these projects will bring the Gloucester region.
“The large number of jobs that will be facilitated by these projects are a credit to the applicants and the Fund panel is very pleased so see such positive outcomes from the first round of funding,” Ms Cameron said.
QUOTES FROM RECIPIENTS
Luke Sutton, CEO – Drifta 4WD Camping
“This AGL funding will bring forward by twelve months a significant factory development that we planned. It will make our business more sustainable and ensure that our employee numbers grow and that is a great thing for everyone in Gloucester”
Dallas Stokes, Managing Director – Leveltec Engineering
“We look forward to the opportunities presented from this project and benefits it will pass on to the local community”
Tony Sutton, Managing Director – Woven Image
"We have been looking to expand our warehousing and production facilities and the Fund's grant to us means we can secure our plans to relocate to the Gloucester Region. It means we can bring new jobs, new production and new skills to Gloucester and that's good for us and good for the town."
Jack and Michelle Collins - Bercol Logging
"This grant is great news for Bercol Logging because it builds on our work to expand our operations and our workforce in the Gloucester Region, which benefits us, our customers and the local economy. It means we can bring on more staff and boost production in a quicker timeframe than we could have otherwise."
AGL is one of Australia’s leading integrated energy companies. It is taking action to responsibly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while providing secure and affordable energy to its customers. Drawing on over 175 years of experience, AGL serves its customers throughout eastern Australia with meeting their energy requirements, including gas, electricity, solar PV and related products and services. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, solar, landfill gas and biomass.