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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Thursday, May 21, 2020

    Balonne farming enterprise turns vegetable waste into useable products, supporting 39 jobs

    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Thursday, May 21, 2020

    Balonne farming enterprise turns vegetable waste into useable products, supporting 39 jobs

    A St George broccoli, onion and garlic farming business will be able to turn waste into saleable products and support up to 39 regional jobs with a funding boost from the Palaszczuk Government.

    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Moonrocks was one of 14 businesses in Queensland to receive a Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant of up to $250,000 to fund the expansion of their business.

    “Moonrocks has been farming in the Balonne Shire for more than two decades but increased demand in contemporary markets for value-added vegetable products has allowed the company to use and sell what would previously have been thrown away,” Mr Furner said.

    “The $250,000 funding will help allow the company make the most of a consistent waste stream of whole product already dumped on site and sources local waste then value add it and distribute both opportunity and flow on effects within the local government area.

    “We know the COVID-19 pandemic has made it tough for a lot of businesses and communities, so these additional jobs will be most welcome.”

    Project manager Harry Harch said it would convert low value, seconds lines of vegetables into high value shelf stable products.

    “The new facility will transform whole vegetable products into sliced, diced and powdered ingredients and value-added products made up of these components,” Mr Harch said.

    “There is appropriate demand and financial incentive to process this waste into high value product.”

    He said the business already contributed significantly to the region’s horticulture industry, economy and employment but the expansion would allow them to support even more regional jobs.

    “These are during the construction phase, farming operations, business administration, repairs and maintenance, food safety and quality assurance and compliance, and positions within the new value add facility. These are anticipated to be graders, process workers and forklift drivers,” he said.

    “This is of value as it brings and settles families to the area which has a substantial multiplier effect for the local economy.”

    The Rural Economic Development (RED) Grants program offers emerging projects up to $250,000 in co-contributions to build industry and grow employment opportunities across the agricultural sector. The $10 million grants program provides for three funding rounds over a three-year period ending 2021.

    A total of 14 businesses have received $3.34 million under the second round of funding for the RED Grants program. Overall these 14 projects are expected to create more than 600 jobs across the agricultural sector in regional Queensland.

    Funding for Round 3 of the RED Grants will be announced later this year.

    The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administer the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

    For more information about the RED Grant scheme visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au

    ENDS

    Video grabs for download: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3xa87jkc5nil8t0/200429%20FURNER%20TV%20GRABS%20MOONROCKS.mp4?dl=0

    Media contacts:

    Minister Furner – Ron Goodman – 0427 781 920

    QRIDA - Emma Clarke - 3032 0137