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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for State Development, Employment and Industrial Relations
    The Honourable John Mickel


    Minister for State Development, Employment and Industrial Relations
    The Honourable John Mickel

    Wednesday, September 27, 2006



    A Gold Coast manufacturing firm is proving that a little bit of R&D will go a long way to business success.

    Minister for State Development John Mickel today inspected Digga Australia’s $5 million state of the art manufacturing facility at Yatala.

    “Digga is an amazing Smart State success story, growing from a one-man operation in 1981 into Australia’s largest manufacturer of construction and earthmoving attachments, with 131 staff, around 90 of those in Queensland,” Minister Mickel said.

    “With 70% of Digga components produced from raw material at the Yatala plant, the company is expanding to cope with growing demand for its unique products.

    It now exports to more than 50 countries and those exports have grown by 60% over the last three years, with the company anticipating sales in Europe to increase by 150% in the next two years thanks to an expanded UK operation.”

    Digga has won several honours including an Australian Design Award for its revolutionary and patented Swing Control System, which increases safety by stabilising drilling machinery during operation.

    Mr Mickel said the company allocated $1 million annually to its research and development division.

    “I’ve been thoroughly impressed by Stewart and Suzie Wright’s commitment to improving their products through research and development, which has underpinned their incredible success,” he said.

    “In Australia, the vast majority of R&D takes place in the public sphere, with industry-led R&D badly lacking compared to other high-tech countries. Digga is proof that Queensland companies that invest in R&D will reap the outstanding rewards of their innovation.”

    Digga CEO Suzie Wright said her company planned to invest a further $1 million over the next 8 months to upgrade its machining, fabrication and robotics capabilities.

    The Queensland Government has identified the advanced manufacturing sector as a key industry for the State’s economy.
    It is supporting the industry with its Manufacturing Strategy, Making Queensland’s Future, which provides $26 million worth of assistance to companies until 2007.

    Media contact: Chris Brown 3224 7349 or Elouise Campion 3224 6784.

    Digga Australia : Suzie Wright 3807 3330

    27 September, 2006