Big rivers business throws the kitchen sink at expanding Northern Territory manufacturing capability

The Big Rivers region of the Northern Territory (NT) will soon boast a new manufacturing capability with local manufacturing business Katherine Joinery adding stainless-steel forming and laser cutting services to its in-house capabilities thanks to support from the Northern Territory Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund (AMEF).

The addition of stainless-steel design and manufacturing capabilities will allow Katherine Joinery to replace fully imported products, reduce customer lead times, increase product quality and remove the need to carry out additional post-manufacture alterations needed on current products to satisfy local design regulations.   

The new capability will allow the company to develop and produce more cost-competitive kitchen and wet area solutions tailor-made for remote housing builds and upgrades in the Territory. Furthermore, the company will develop a new modular stainless steel kitchen solution, leveraging advanced methods, to supply ready-to-assemble kitchen solutions for in-field assembly.

The co-invested project will see Katherine Joinery match the Territory Government’s $104,102 contribution dollar-for-dollar, with a further in-kind contribution of $103,256 for supply of services and equipment. In total, the project will commit $311,460 of cash and in-kind support to grow local jobs and capability in the Katherine region.

Ashley Jennison, Director of Katherine Joinery, said: “Through the support of the Territory Government and the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, we will be able to improve our capabilities, reduce lead times and generate jobs – which will benefit the entire Big Rivers community,

“Furthermore, the project will allow us to respond to the unique requirements of the Northern Territory, while developing better quality kitchen products that offer greater value to our customers across the Top End.” Said Jennison.

Northern Territory Minister for Advanced Manufacturing, Nicole Manison, said: “The investment in Katherine Joinery is an investment in local jobs, that will have flow on effects benefiting the entire supply chain,

“Enabling small Territory businesses achieve great things is what the Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund is all about,

“We are committed to backing in our local workforce, expanding capabilities and supporting employers across the whole of the Northern Territory.” Said Manison.

Northern Territory Major Projects Commissioner, Jason Schoolmeester, said: “The Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund is generating new and competitive supply chains in the Territory through business and industry collaboration. It’s also creating local jobs and growing local skillsets,

“The Territory has a proud history of smart innovation and the Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund is providing new pathways for businesses to access co-investment to grow our economy for the future.” Said Schoolmeester.

AMGC’s Director for the Northern Territory Charmaine Phillips, said: “By embracing the latest in manufacturing technology and pairing it with local smarts, Katherine Joinery will become more efficient, more proficient and in time a leading supplier of kitchen and wet area solutions to the Top End,

“Critically, by recognising that manufacturing is more than just production, Katherine Joinery will be increasing the number of jobs in the design and engineering in the region, while lifting the skills of the Big Rivers manufacturing ecosystem.” Said Phillips.  

In collaboration with its partners, Katherine Joinery expects to deliver its first commercial-ready kitchen solution in under twelve months, while adding a further six staff, boosting its revenues by almost $650,000 over the next five years with flow on impacts benefiting the entire supply chain.