Boosting Huon Jobs and Diversifying Tasmania's Economy Fri 26 October 2012 David O'Byrne Minister for Economic Development The Minister for Economic Development, David O'Byrne, today visited the latest Tasmanian company using innovation funding to create jobs and opportunities. Mitchell Plastic Welding has combined a $250,000 grant from the Tasmanian Government Innovation and Investment Fund (TGIIF) with $1 million of its own funds, to buy five new pipe welding machines. The expansion will immediately create 11 new jobs in the Huon / Franklin area, and help support growth in the agriculture and aquaculture sectors. "These strategic grants help businesses innovate, adapt to changing markets, and create Tasmanian jobs," Mr O'Byrne said. "Because of global market changes, our economy is transitioning from being mainly dependent on traditional commodities, to one that's diverse and competes on quality. "The TGIIF grants help businesses make the innovations and upgrades they need to adapt to that transition. "Our Economic Development Plan is all about diversifying our economy and playing to Tasmania's natural strengths. This fund complements that vision perfectly. "The new welding machines allow Mitchell Plastic Welding to provide services they could previously only offer by leasing equipment from interstate. This is a Tasmanian company innovating to keep business and jobs in Tasmania. "MPW's ambitious expansion is a great vote of confidence in Tasmania's economic future," he said. MPW's total expansion costs $1,260,000. The Government's $250,000 grant is therefore leveraging four times that amount of investment from MPW itself. Tasmania's recently seen a doubling of the aquaculture industry, including expansions in Macquarie Harbour and the Huon Valley, on the back of State Government support. The Government's $220 million irrigation expansion is also well underway across Tasmania. Both the agriculture and aquaculture industries will now benefit from the extra capacity created by MPW's expansion. The $3 million TGIIF was announced in the 2012 / 2013 budget. 10 projects received grant funding under stage one of the scheme. It's expected to create 122 new jobs and generate $6 million of investment.