Supporting Indigenous business in Cape York

The Palaszczuk Government has reaffirmed his commitment to Indigenous Businesses and the jobs they create for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders, providing a $100,000 grant to assist Cape York Timber to secure a business loan.

Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt said it was a one-off grant and he had confidence in the business’s ability to operate sustainably into the long term.

“Cape York Timber has been operating for a number of years as a social enterprise producing high-quality sustainable Australian hardwood and providing Indigenous employment and training,” Mr Pitt said.

“Our $100,000 contribution is the first action to come from the recently approved Regional Jobs Fund announced in Tuesday’s Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review.

“Our action will enable Cape York Timber to continue employing local people in moulding and finishing, woodchip operations and additional administration.

“The business has successfully applied for and received a loan from Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) in September – but that loan was conditional on the company finding an external source to provide $100,000.”

Cape York Timber (CYT) sustainably and selectively harvests hard wood from Indigenous and state-owned land from across Cape York and operates a commercial timber mill in Cooktown.

The Treasurer said the one-off $100,000 grant is the difference between Cape York Timber’s projected working capital and the loan amount of $250,000.

“I met with Duncan Murray earlier this year and believe his vision for growth can create sustainable employment opportunities in Cape York, especially for local Indigenous people,” Mr Pitt said.

“The company has demonstrated that it can operate at a break-even level and I am optimistic that our support will help it grow into the future.

“By the end of 2016 they expect to harvest 3,500 cubic metres into their mill in Cooktown and forecast growth above 5,000 cubic metres in 2017.”

Payments to CYT will be made upon reaching agreed milestones and ensuring that measurable outcomes have been achieved with job commitments of the Service Agreement.


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