Campbell Newman
Campbell Newman David Stuart

Newman’s farm firm collects $1m grant

A COMPANY directed by former lord mayor, premier and LNP leader Campbell Newman has received a million-dollar federal grant.

Mr Newman is the board chairman and one of four directors of Queensland firm SwarmFarm, which has received $999,712 under the Liberal Federal Government's entrepreneurs' program.

The money was part of an $8.5 million commercialisation assistance package that was announced on Thursday by Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy.

The funding package was spread among 10 recipients, with individual amounts ranging from $250,000 to $1 million.

SwarmFarm, based near Emerald in the state's Central Highlands, specialises in developing robotic technology for agriculture.

In a report on Mr Newman's involvement, its website says: "Campbell may have been a former premier of Queensland and lord mayor of Brisbane but he has a passion and commitment to agriculture that spans 40 years.

"Growing up in northern Tasmania, he was fully involved with the operations of the family farm and earned his first pay packet irrigating potatoes.

"After his time as an Army engineer, he worked as the operations general manager of Grainco Australia running the company's grain storage and handling infrastructure across central and southern Queensland."

Mr Roy said the latest funding offers would help 10 more Australian businesses launch products, services and processes into the global marketplace.

"Innovation is at the heart of the Government's agenda and these are great examples of some of the great ideas coming out of Australian companies," he said when announcing the grants.

"These innovations provide real-world solutions to problems in agriculture, tourism, health and environmental spheres.

"This support will help the recipients commercialise their ideas so they can take advantage of market opportunities and ensure their intellectual property is protected."

To date, the program has provided 85 commercialisation grants worth more than $46 million.

Other recipient projects included an internet-enabled device for assisting the movement and control of livestock, the world's first modular hearing aid, 3D holographic room technology for the leisure and tourism market, greener and cheaper hull-cleaning technology for boats, and bone scan analysis software.

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