New data released this month shows the number of Queensland jobs supported by Advance Queensland has remained steady during Queensland’s COVID-19 lockdown from March to June, helping Queenslanders remain resilient during COVID-19.
The Advance Queensland initiative is a $1.5 billion investment in the innovation ecosystem in the state, including $820 million leveraged from external partners and investors. With close to 7,000 recipients, these projects are now supporting more than 23,500 jobs.
Advance Queensland has supported more than 23,500 jobs, an increase of more than 3,800 jobs since December last year. The data also shows an increase in the number of recipients receiving Advance Queensland funding during the period, up by 20 per cent since December.
Amongst those supported by Advance Queensland includes Queensland-based manufacturer of Australian energy storage systems, RedEarth Energy Storage (“RedEarth”), who is on track to create new technical jobs amidst COVID-19 challenges, with the help of Queensland Government support.
RedEarth received $4.75 million in Series A funding from the Advance Queensland Business Development Fund last year including $1.96 million from the Queensland government, to help create jobs for over 30 new employees and prepare RedEarth to manufacture over $70 million worth of battery systems domestically over the following four years before COVID-19 created a new set of challenges.
RedEarth, faced with needing to adapt to the challenges COVID-19 presented, needed to make some budget cuts to maximise its financial resources and maintain its plan for rapid expansion. Thanks to the quick actions from the Queensland Government, RedEarth were able to receive a $250,000 loan from Queensland Rural & Industry Development Authority (“QRIDR”) as well as funding from the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program. RedEarth has been able to retain all staff and is on track to create a further 20 jobs as it works towards the shared vision of #Jobs4TodayJobs4Tomorrow.
Minister for State Development and Innovation Kate Jones said it was great to see a local company like RedEarth Energy Storage kicking goals despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We back businesses like RedEarth to expand because we know how vital they are to creating jobs for Queenslanders,” Ms Jones said.
“Energy storage has huge potential to create even more local jobs in years to come. That’s why we’re partnering with the private sector to invest in this industry to ensure that Queensland is at the forefront of this technology.
“Backing local businesses to make it through this pandemic is an important part of the Palaszczuk Government’s strategy to rebuild Queensland’s economy.
“We’ll continue to invest in battery storage initiatives to rebuild our economy and support local jobs.”
RedEarth experienced a drop in sales when COVID-19 started, but have since experienced a rebound in interest for their Australian systems, as households and businesses look for locally made products, sustainable solutions, and energy security.
RedEarth Co-Founder and CEO Charles Walker said “More than 70,000 Australian households are expected to install batteries in the next year alone (Source:Bloomberg). There has certainly been an upshift in the demand for Australian made high quality, battery systems that are designed to weather our environmental conditions. We are incredibly proud to be providing a first-class Australian solution as more and more households and businesses in Australia transition to our trusted renewables-based power.”
The Company’s 2,162m2 commercial space located in Darra, Brisbane is where RedEarth manufactures residential, commercial, and industrial battery systems. Not only does RedEarth offer battery systems for the home but it also provides larger standalone systems suitable for rural and commercial energy storage. The Company’s products are the only Australian made and owned all-in-one systems certified by the Clean Energy Council, and the Company is certified under quality standard ISO9001:2015.