Innovation and investment fund for Melbourne’s north

In response to the announcement by Ford that it would cease manufacturing at Broadmeadows in October 2016, the Cities of Hume, Whittlesea, Darebin and Moreland have established the Melbourne’s North Ford Response Joint Task Force to provide regional coordination for the whole of government response for Melbourne’s north.

The Task Force includes representatives from the four councils, Regional Development Australia, NORTHLink, and state and federal government agencies responsible for investment attraction, business development and innovation, education and training, workplace relations and human services.

One of the Task Force’s roles is to support the operation and promotion of the Melbourne’s North Innovation and Investment Fund (MNIIF), recently launched by the Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Kim Carr, with the Victorian Minister for Manufacturing, David Hodgett, and Ford Australia.

The MNIIF is a $24.5 million competitive, merit-based grants program aiming to support innovative, job creation projects that strengthen and diversify the Melbourne North regional economy and employment base.

Senator Kim Carr said the funds, provided by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments as well as Ford Australia, would support innovative projects and create new and sustainable jobs that would help the region adjust to, and prosper beyond the closure of Ford Australia’s vehicle and engine manufacturing operations in October 2016.

“These funds provide a real opportunity for the Melbourne North region … to see new jobs created for people living in those areas.

“Funding for projects will help companies take the steps to diversify what they do, innovate and invest in these regions, create new work and opportunities and open up new markets.”