Rockhampton business recipient of $500,000 grant to buy LGS roll forming machines.
A Queensland Manufacturing Hubs Grant will enable a Rockhampton business to strengthen its ability to meet demand in the residential housing construction market.
Qld Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher announced a grant of more than $500,000 at Manuplex, in North Rockhampton, last week to buy four light gague steel (LGS) roll forming machines.
“Manuplex – which has 85 full-time staff – is purchasing four [light gauge] steel roll-forming machines that will enable the business to create a new range of steel frames and trusses for the commercial and residential construction sector.
“This is what the Hub Grants and local Manufacturing Hubs are about,” Mr Butcher said.
Primarily focussed on supplying the mining industry, Manuplex will also now service the residential sector with addition of the new LGS roll forming machines.
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said Manuplex is now hoping to fill a critical gap in the housing market, left by the supply-chain shortage.
“Manuplex has been able to pivot from its current manufacture of steel frames and trusses for mining and commercial purposes, to creating steel frames for residential homes. This builds on the skills and capabilities of its existing workforce and capitalises on the business’s strengths. This is an area they are already familiar with and can move into seamlessly,” Mr O’Rourke said.
“Not only that, but the steel frames and trusses manufactured by Manuplex with this equipment will complement their existing work, with opportunities in temporary and modular buildings for mining and defence camps,” he said.
Manuplex Managing Director Matt Jurkic said the opportunity would deliver growth for the business and benefit local builders significantly.
“We expect to put on another 16 full-time positions and upskill our current staff,” he said.
“We can see this supply shortage impacting the construction sector for quite some time to come – it won’t turn around quickly – and we know this is a good opportunity for our company,” he said.
“I know local builders who are frustrated – they can’t accept any more contracts and are struggling to complete the contracts they have due to the supply shortages, labour issues and increased costs on materials. This will help them get their business moving quickly again too,” he said.
“We’ve had overwhelming interest in the roles we’ve advertised so we’ll be able to run the machinery in shifts. We’re also hiring more women than ever before, so this represents a step towards diversity, upskilling and growth for our team in a traditionally male-dominated industry,” he said.