Queensland Minister for Manufacturing Cameron Dick
$10 Million Invested In Manufacturing Hub To Boost Rockhampton Economy
Victor P Taffa
Rockhampton’s manufacturing sector has received a $10 Million boost, with the Palaszczuk Government teaming up with the Central Queensland University in Rockhampton to establish a manufacturing hub to support local manufacturers to become more productive and grow their businesses.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the hub will provide a place for local manufacturing businesses to receive expert advice and support around how they can expand.
“Our government made a commitment to Queenslanders to establish manufacturing hubs in regional areas to drive this important sector while bolstering local economies, and we are delivering on that commitment.” Minister Dick said.
“This hub will provide a catalyst to promote and deliver world-leading technologies, processes and practices to manufacturers in the region and attract increased private sector investment and jobs to Central Queensland.”
“It will support manufacturers to develop strong links with local universities and schools to develop a workforce with strong skills in science, technology, engineering and maths.”
Minister Dick said manufacturers will have easy access to business development programs, skills and training and equipment through Central Queensland University Rockhampton campus.
“My department has consulted with local businesses, local governments, unions and educational institutions to develop the best model for the Rockhampton region.” Minister Dick said.
Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said the new hub will be a valuable asset to the Rockhampton region.
“This investment will assist local businesses to get the advice and support they need to grow and be able to employ more Queenslanders.” Minister Fentiman said.
“CQU TAFE provide world class training to ensure we will have the skilled workforce the future of manufacturing.”
“Hub will support joint projects to strengthen key manufacturing sectors in the region, which in turn creates and sustains jobs, generates industry opportunities and bolsters the local economy.” Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said.
“Hub, in partnership with local industry and the Centre for Railway Engineering at Central Queensland University, will encourage innovation into the rail freight sector through advanced manufacturing.”
“It will also develop capability throughout the supply chain, for local businesses and suppliers to the rail industry.”
“Hub will also assist food and metal producers with improving efficiencies in their business models, demonstrate the latest state-of-the-art technology, and assist with workforce development and training.” Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said.
“Central Queensland manufacturing hub will ensure the region’s manufacturing sector continues to thrive well into the future, supported by the skills, networks and jobs it needs to strengthen and evolve to meet market and industry demands.”
“I have been fighting hard to state the case for this manufacturing hub for our region, including meeting with a number of government representatives and others to ensure this important project got off the ground in Central Queensland, so it is fantastic to see the hub coming to fruition thanks to the commitment of our government to make it so.”
General Manager of Teys Australia and member of the Manufacturing Ministerial Committee Wasantha Mudannayake said food manufacturing accounts for almost half of the manufacturing sub-sector by employment in the Rockhampton Local Government Area.
“I am delighted to be part of the hub to raise industry capability and grow the region’s local manufacturing businesses.” Mr. Mudannayake said.
Minister Dick said as at December last year, Central Queensland’s manufacturing sector contributed more than $1 Billion to the state’s economy annually and represented 5.7 % of all industry employment in the region.
“There are around 250 manufacturing small-to-medium enterprises operating in the Central Queensland region and we want to see that number grow.” Minister Dick said.
Minister Dick said the Palaszczuk Government is also investing $10 Million in Townsville and $10 Million in Cairns to establish manufacturing hubs.
“Queensland’s manufacturing sector is worth $20 Billion each year to the state economy and employs around 179,000 people. Around 15,100 more people have been employed in the sector over the past year alone an increase of almost 10 % in 12 months so we know that this sector is growing and creating jobs.” Minister Dick said.
“Manufacturing in Queensland is diverse, with the Top 5 employing sub-sectors being food product manufacturing, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, fabricated metal production and furniture.”
“Manufacturing hub model aligns closely with our government’s $7.6 Million Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.”
“This government is committed to building the state’s manufacturing industry through practical initiatives such as Made in Queensland, a suite of Industry 4.0 programs, Design in Manufacturing, Women in Manufacturing and our Hackerspaces program.” Minister Dick said.
$40 Million Made in Queensland program has, to date, awarded $18.2 Million, through 53 approved grants, helping to create an estimated 532 high-skill jobs. Regional manufacturers accounted for 22 of these approved grants totalling $6.6 Million and over 280 high-skill jobs.
Hubs will be staffed by a hub coordinator, a skills development and training officer, and a project support officer in each location. Recruitment for these positions will begin soon, to plan for the opening of the hubs in early 2019.