Ag tech the way of Toowoomba manufacturer’s future thanks to RED Grant
Leicht's CIA managing director Mark Leicht
4 December 2023
A Toowoomba cattle equipment manufacturer is investing in new ag tech to increase efficiency while creating up to six full-time jobs with a Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant.
Leicht’s CIA managing director Mark Leicht said the business was implementing specialized laser cutting equipment and an automated welding robot to help produce more equipment more efficiently.
“Some of the equipment we will make with the robotic welder include drop-down doors, and those take about 35 minutes to make manually, and we’re hoping they’ll be made in 15 minutes with the robot,” he said.
Mark said the welding robot would also help the agricultural business overcome current labour shortages.
“Labour can be hard to get these days, so we are trying to diversify and set ourselves up for the future," he said.
“With the freeing up of time, our workers will be able to focus on doing more structural manufacturing like cattle crushes, and this project will create roles in boilermaking and welding."
The new tech will be up-and-running next year and will create up to six local jobs.
“The Rural Economic Development Grant has allowed us to go down the automation path and bring the project forward by a couple years," Mark said.
Leicht’s CIA is one of 24 businesses approved for the fifth round of the competitive RED grants program with a total funding of $3.9 million. Overall, the fifth round of the RED Grants program is expected to create up to 215 direct, long-term jobs.
Grants are available for up to $200,000 with a 50 per cent cash contribution requirement from applicants to fund projects which generate economic and employment opportunities related to primary production value chains across rural and remote Queensland.
Over five years, the Palaszczuk Government’s RED Grants program has provided a total of $13.3 million in funding to support 59 successful regional agribusiness projects, worth more than $52.4 million and estimated to create over 2,500 new direct and indirect jobs.
A sixth round of RED Grants, supporting Indigenous-owned agribusinesses and projects aimed at low-emissions agriculture, has been allocated for the 2023-24 financial year, with applications to open later this year.
For more information about the RED Grant scheme, visit the RED Grant scheme page.
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administers the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.