Business backs job grants

A WILLASTON business owner says a new Job Accelerator Grant has helped his business expand to include two new workers – and he’s not alone.

Over 30 new jobs in the Gawler area have been generated across the finance, services, civil construction, retail and professional services and other areas, in the first six months of the State Government’s Job Accelerator Grants program, announced as part of its 2016/17 budget last July.

Willaston auto repairer Les Haldane Mechanical has created two additional jobs – a store manager and a motor mechanic position – thanks to the program, which involves receiving subsidies, in two future instalments, to ensure the long-term employment of new staff.

Owner Les Haldane said his business was already in the process of expanding, but the subsidy helped him fit the new jobs into his budget, after factoring the grant assistance into his forward estimates.

“The assistance that we’re going to get certainly helps getting the place off the ground, to enable us to use our budget to buy equipment rather than wages – it’s going to help us a lot,” he said.

“We budget that for two years, and that money comes in, and that’s helped us get quite a bit of the equipment here off the ground earlier than we would have normally.

“I think that certainly helped.”

The grants offer up to $10,000 to eligible businesses for each new worker it employs above current staff numbers, including a $4000 ‘Small Business and Start-ups Grant’, paid in two instalments of $2000 on each anniversary of the increase in employment.

Member for Light Tony Piccolo said the sooner more businesses are made aware of the grants, the better.

“(It) will have a significant impact on employment numbers in the northern parts of Adelaide as we head towards the closure of Holden in October,” he said.

Further details, and application forms for the grants, can be found online (


Matteo Gagliardi joined The Bunyip in August 2016 with almost two years experience in regional print media, having previously worked at a community newspaper in Swan Hill, Victoria. Covering politics, local government and crime, Matteo likes to sink his teeth into hard-hitting issues, but also enjoys spending time getting to know the Gawler community. Matteo also has a passion for science, agriculture and the environment, and has previously worked as a media officer at the Australian Science Media Centre.