Whyalla funding injection

The federal government has injected $20 million into the Upper Spencer Gulf, with several Whyalla businesses receiving important funding.

Max Crane and Equipment Hire is set to receive $4.7 million to go towards purchasing one of the largest telescopic mobile cranes in Australia. The crane and associated equipment will cost a total of $12.2 million.

The new crane and equipment will help the company to expand its capabilities in the renewable energy sector, and allow it to be involved in wind tower construction and maintenance.

Federal funding also went towards creating a one-stop manufacturing shop at the Ottoway Engineering building on the Lincoln Highway.

Ice Engineering and Construction and Heavymech have received half of the $10 million required to create the heavy industry manufacturing and services hub.

Regional Development Minister John McVeigh said that project was likely to create 193 jobs — 169 of which would be ongoing — and support key industries such as energy, mining and defence.

“The logic of bringing together a manufacturing service hub here really stands out to me, it’s a great concept and it builds in some of their strengths which already exist,” he said.

“I have a real sense of excitement and enthusiasm in the region.”

Ottoway Engineering Chairman Stephen Young said the hub would support companies like BHP at Olympic Dam, Nyrstar in Port Pirie, Liberty OneSteel in Whyalla, and in the future Oz Minerals at Carrapateena.

“This will provide a service maintenance capacity for those companies that is currently being met in the main with fly-in fly-out labour,” he said

“We’re hoping we can establish a workforce that will support them. We will also be able to upgrade our equipment and support them in terms of their upgrade requirements.”

Whyalla Aged Care also received $3 million in funding which will help them fund the first stage of a new lifestyle village and the construction of a multi-purpose community centre.

The centre, which will be located adjacent to the current aged care building on Newton Street, will be a hub for community and disability services.

CEO Juanita Walker said the centre would cater for up to 100 people.

“It will incorporate training rooms, a commercial kitchen, hydrotherapy pool, and our community staff who will also be moving into the National Disability Insurance Scheme,” she said.

“We have been planning the development of a retirement village for many years, but financially we haven’t been able to achieve that. This gives us funding to fast-track that development.”

Work will be created for local companies by the construction of the lifestyle village and community centre.

Lastly, Clean Seas Seafood will expand yellowtail kingfish operations to Fitzgerald Bay, and upgrade its support facilities at Point Lowly with $2.5 million in federal funding.