INDUSTRIAL maintenance company Kelly’s Australia has received a boost from the Queensland government through the Manufacturing Hub Grants Program.  

The $443,500 grant has enabled the business to purchase an Australian-first robotic tool developed specifically for the shipping industry.

Based in Queensland, Kelly’s is First Nations-owned and operated business specialising in high-pressure water jetting.

Minister for regional development and manufacturing Glenn Butcher said the funding is designed to support regional manufacturers to adopt new technology and processes to boost their businesses.

“This machinery provides a safe and efficient means to remove coatings from ship hulls and similar surfaces – and also significantly reducing the risk of environmental damage during the process,” he said.

“The grant provided an excellent example of the multiple benefits to businesses through the introduction of advanced manufacturing technology.

“The support provided through the program by the Queensland government now puts Kelly’s at the forefront of marine maintenance in Australia.”

The new machinery is expected to enable Kelly’s to operate more efficiently, upskill four employees, and provide a safer working environment for those staff.

Having recently celebrated 25 years in business, Kelly’s Australia manager Bill Kelly said the grant would provide an important platform for the future of the company.

“Thanks to this support from the Queensland government we can now continue to grow our business and look to employ more locals,” he said.

“This area is one of four hot spots in Australia where this type of work is becoming a thriving industry and there will be knock-on benefits for the entire region.

“We’re already working closely with local shipyards like Norship and Austal and this new equipment will allow us to provide more services, faster.”

Through the Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program, the Queensland government intends to strengthen the state’s regional manufacturers.

“Manufacturing already contributes $20 billion a year to the state’s economy and employees, and we want to see that grow even further,” Mr Butcher said.