LOOKING OUT: Adaptapack directors, Sam and Katie Walls, are in Goonellabah to look at sites for the expansion of their Sydney-based robotics company
LOOKING OUT: Adaptapack directors, Sam and Katie Walls, are in Goonellabah to look at sites for the expansion of their Sydney-based robotics company Sophie Moeller

Robotics company gets $1.5 million incentive

IMAGINE you are the sort of employer who wants to provide your workers with good employment opportunities in the perfect environment in an emerging sector of the economy but you can also provide your clients with a holiday opportunity.

Sam and Katie Walls are in the region this week to look for new locations for their robotics company, Adaptapack, and these were exactly the criterion they were looking for in making their decision to up-bricks and move to The Far North Coast.

The two company directors were "thrilled" at Kevin Hogan's announcement last week that Adaptapack was one of the businesses to be receiving funding under the government's Regional Jobs and Investment Program. Their $1.5million grant comes from a $17 million Federal Government pool for nine projects in the region, which are projected to create 1000 new jobs.

Katie said the high-tech packaging machinery manufacturer, which exports its products around the world, will be bringing 100 high-paid and high-skilled jobs, which will do much to promote the area.

"We would also like to form a working relationship with TAFE and The Southern Cross University to offer traineeships and intern opportunities, as well as tailored programs that better meet the positions available today in high-tech industries," said Ms Walls.

The couple have flown up from Sydney to look at potential sites in Goonellabah and the surrounding area to construct a new 5000sqm multi-million dollar state-of-the-art facility to be built in two stages.

Katie and Sam said they first came to The Northern Rivers on their honeymoon 24 years ago.

"We drove through the region for the first time and looked at each other and said if we ever wanted to do anything outside of Sydney this region would be our first choice.

"It felt and so lovely. Little did we know at the time that this would actually happen.

"Kevin (Hogan MP) has done a wonderful job at really promoting the area and getting behind offering the region with this strategy. It is not only more jobs but a diversity of industries, and therefore variety of job opportunities with a very diverse range of skills and a broad range of salary opportunities.

"His vision for expansion to support community is very aligned to our business principle, being about people and relationships first.

"Discussions with him helped us to gain confidence to undertake this endeavour of expansion in this region.

. "The grant has helped to make it actually happen which is wonderful.

"There's also a lovely tourism angle for our clients. They can get to come up to see us and have a holiday at the same time," said Katie.

Last week, Mr Hogan and Federal Minister for Regional Development John McVeigh said 280 jobs would also be created by a new medicinal cannabis processing facility at Casino, 100 construction jobs in the expansion of an aged care facility at Kyogle and 60 direct and 300 indirect jobs through the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

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