The Northern Territory (NT) Government of Australia has announced an investment of A$492,000 ($312,370) to expand and transform the packaging and labelling services within the region.

Specifically, the investment will be used for establishing new digital printing technology in the territory.

Associated work involves the participation of local digital and offset printing solutions provider Colemans Printing, which has branches in both Darwin and Alice Springs.

Under this effort, the company will introduce a new HP digital label machine featuring custom finish capabilities to meet the specific needs of the NT’s climates and deliver AI, traceability, and augmented reality capabilities.

Colemans will provide its solution to various local industries, including those in the health, agricultural, and food sectors.

This will minimise the aforementioned companies’ need to outsource similar capabilities from interstate.

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Colemans managing director Tony Coleman said: “It [the solution] will give businesses located across the region access to the latest labels and packaging technology, while shortening lead times and expediting high-quality solutions across Northern Australia.”

Local industry requirements also stipulate the switch to National Packaging Sustainability Targets, which state that 100% of packaging should be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.

NT Advanced Manufacturing Minister Nicole Manison said: “Growing the Territory’s advanced manufacturing industry is a key part of our strategy to grow the Territory economy to A$40bn by 2030 and create more jobs.

“Providing the Territory with this printing technology means that we can have more reliability within our supply chain.”

Colemans has undertaken the latest work in collaboration with Currie Group and Charles Darwin University.

The effort is being supported by the Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund (AMEF), administered by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, as part of a five-year A$8.75m partnership with the NT Government.

NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles added: “To date, the AMEF programme is on track to create up to 100 new manufacturing jobs and generate up to A$37.5m into the Territory’s economy over the next five years.”