Townsville Economy Boosted By Manufacturing Hub

Townsville Economy Boosted By Manufacturing Hub

Queensland Minister for Manufacturing Cameron Dick

$10 Million Invested In Manufacturing Hub To Boost Townsville Economy

Victor P Taffa

Townsville’s manufacturing sector has received a $10 Million boost, with the Palaszczuk Government teaming up with TAFE Queensland 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 Townsville.”

“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 TAFE Queensland Townsville campus.

“My department has consulted with local businesses, local governments, unions and educational institutions to develop the best model for the Townsville region.” Minister Dick said.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said the new hub will be a valuable asset to the Townsville 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.

“TAFE Queensland provide world class training to ensure we will have the skilled workforce the future of manufacturing.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the hub would create and sustain jobs, generate industry opportunities and bolster the local economy.

“Hub will support joint projects to strengthen key manufacturing sectors in the region. In particular, the hub will lift the capability of North Queensland’s metal manufacturers in relation to Industry 4.0 and The Internet of Things.” Mr. Stewart said.

Industry 4.0 is a term used to describe the fourth revolution in manufacturing. Industry 4.0 uses transformative technologies to connect the physical world with the digital world, and includes advanced automation and robotics, machine-to-machine and human-to-machine communication, artificial intelligence and sensor technology and data analytics.

Also known as the Industrial Internet, the Internet of Things is the connection between physical devices, such as vehicles and appliances, and the communication between them.

“Hub will also assist industry to take advantage of new technologies and connections in their own products, and related business models.” Mr. Stewart said.

“In addition, the hub will focus on food transformation, with a Centre of Excellence for Food Transformation which will create healthy food ingredients and products by converting vegetable supply chain food waste into snacks and powders for health supplements and nutraceuticals.”

“Townsville 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.”

Business Development Manager of TEI Services Pty Ltd Adam Packer sees a lot of value in creating a strong and collaborative ecosystem to lift industry’s capability and develop regional manufacturing.

“Our business is a creative engineering company that offers solutions to the sugar, marine and mineral processing industries.” Mr. Packer said.

Chief Executive Officer of Growcom David Thomson said based on global and domestic data, 30 % of food produced is never eaten and is lost at various stages along the supply chain.

“Hub is a significant opportunity to assist in skills and training for North Queensland to turn waste into a resource through advanced manufacturing, and at the same time support regional economic aspirations.” Mr. Thomson said.

“Hub will also assist the Townsville region to take advantage of reducing food waste in the vegetable supply chain.”

Minister Dick said as at December last year, Townsville’s manufacturing sector contributed $879 Million to the state’s economy each year and represents 5.7 % of all industry employment in the region.

Minister Dick said the Palaszczuk Government is also investing $10 Million in Cairns and $10 Million in Rockhampton 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 five 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.