Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund
State Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay has called on the Andrews Government to honour its election commitment of providing an additional $7.5 million to the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund (GRIIF).
Mr Ramsay said he had written to Minister for Industry Lily D’Ambrosio seeking advice on when the Andrews Government will make the money available.
“Former Opposition Leader and now Premier Daniel Andrews promised in November 2013 a further $7.5 million to GRIIF; it is now time for him to deliver on his commitment.
“GRIIF was set up as a competitive merit-based grants program, jointly funded by the Australian Government with $15 million, the Victorian Government with $4.5 million and Ford Australia with $5 million.
“The program was designed to support innovative job creation projects in response to Ford’s announcement of ceasing vehicle and engine manufacturing in Australia from October 2016.
“Alcoa provided a further $5 million to GRIIF when it announced it would be closing its Point Henry plant.
“This $29.5 million jointly funded program is an important source of funding for local job creation that will strengthen and diversify Geelong’s regional economy and employment base.
“Ten projects have so far met the criteria of innovation and job creation and have been supported through rounds 1 and 2. Round 3 closes on 14 May 2015.
“GRIIF has provided over $18.3 million to successful applicants in the Geelong Region, supporting a total investment exceeding $100 million generated in a range of local projects and creating 750 new jobs.
“The Andrews Government needs to stick to its promise and allocate the additional $7.5 million to GRIIF so as to support future rounds of funding.
“These innovative and job creating projects funded through GRIIF are too important to Geelong for Daniel Andrews to be playing politics,” Mr Ramsay said.
Further information about GRIIF is available at business.gov.au or by phoning 13 28 46.