16 October 2018

Queensland rural economic development grants now available

Recently the Queensland state government introduced Rural Economic Development Grants for primary producers looking to expand or develop their business. The offer is up to $250,000 in co-contributions and to be eligible for the grant, an applicant must:

  • propose a rural economic development project in a rural area in Queensland
  • demonstrate an ability to provide a sufficient cash contribution to fund their portion of the project, and
  • propose a project that has not already received approval or acceptance under another government scheme.

Rural area of Queensland

QRIDA defines a rural area by the Australian Statistical Geography Standard. For the purposes of the grant, an eligible area is classified as either:

  • inner regional
  • outer regional
  • remote, or
  • very remote.

According to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard, the only other classification is termed as “Major Cities of Australia”. A review of the ABS maps by “Remoteness Area” has defined major cities in Queensland to be:

Brisbane & Gold Coast region

Ipswich is defined as part of the major city of Brisbane, as is areas such as Beenleigh and Nerang all the way south to the Gold Coast. Caboolture to the north is also considered part of the major city.

Sunshine Coast

Noosa Heads, Maroochydore, Caloundra and Nambour are inside the major city statistical region of the Sunshine Coast. Yandina is considered “Inner Regional” and therefore eligible for a grant.

Other Queensland cities

Most other Queensland cities, as defined by having greater than 50,000 population, are considered either “Inner Regional” or lower for statistical purposes. Clients in these places may be eligible for grants:

  • Townsville, Cairns, Toowoomba, Mackay, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Harvey Bay, Gladstone and Tannum Sands.

For information on specific areas, including the borders, go to the ABS maps website and sort by 2016 Remoteness Areas classifications.

Examples of eligible projects

  • Implementing new technologies and innovations that enhance productivity including technologies to improve internet connectivity, for example agri-tech products such as robotics or mobile apps
  • Adding value to agricultural products, including developing new markets for value-added products
  • Assisting with business development and expansion through provision of technical assistance, training and other activities
  • Assisting businesses to achieve economies of scale by implementing collaborative business structures
  • Assisting businesses to become investment and export ready, or
  • Improving energy use efficiencies, including transitioning to renewable energy sources.

Also, to be eligible for funding a project must demonstrate an ability to generate jobs.

Application process

To be considered for a grant, an applicant must submit an expression of interest on the form provided on QRIDA’s website. An expression of interest must be submitted before 26 October 2018.

Successful expressions of interest will then be invited to submit a full application via an application pack provided by the state department.

If you would like to talk further with us about this new grant, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be delighted to assist you in completing the Expression of Interest.