A $10 million injection by the federal government into a Wagga-based manufacturing project is set to open up hundreds of jobs over the next five years.
Local screening bucket manufacturers Flip Screen are embarking on a new venture which will see them build a $35 million manufacturing facility in Wagga. Managing director Sam Turnbull said the federal government's $10 million contribution is "fantastic".
"Apart from just the money side of it, it means the federal government wants manufacturing here," he said. "We've been working towards this for a long time, but it doesn't take any of the excitement out of it."
The new manufacturing facility will enable Flip Screen to commercially produce and export larger machines which can screen up to 3000 tonnes of material per hour. Mr Turnbull said the new machines will be "game changing in mining", with the ability to drive onto a site and begin separating materials right away, making "unviable mines viable".
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The facility is also expected to create jobs, with the company already looking to bring on 18 more staff members in roles such as engineering, welding and robotics.
The company wants to begin construction "as soon as we can physically do it," Mr Turnbull said. Rather than have a beginning and end date, he said that the project will be completed in phases, with five or six buildings included in phase one.
"I don't imagine we'll slow down," he said. "The thing with this is, this keeps going.
"Once the tunnel's dug and the road's done everyone goes home, but not with this."
Mr Turnbull anticipates the influx of expertise to have flow-on effects for other businesses.
"Once we get this many jobs in a place like Wagga, it means that somebody can open up a place down the road using the same technologies and they can be serviced," he said.
Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said that the federal government's boost aims to establish Wagga as a regional manufacturing hub.
"Flip Screen has developed innovative solutions for the resources and recycling industries which will have an impact right across the globe, and it is doing it from right here in Wagga Wagga," he said.
"This is an investment in regional Australia, this is the Liberals and Nationals in Government backing the regions, this is going to help Flip Screen realise its vast potential on the world stage."
Mr McCormack said the project is expected to create up to 147 full-time jobs during construction and up to 502 ongoing full-time jobs over the first five years of the project.
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