THE Queensland Government delivered on its promise to support manufacturing in Central Queensland, with the opening of a new Manufacturing Hub at Rockhampton’s CQUniversity campus on Tuesday.
Minister for Manufacturing Cameron Dick (who was joined by CQUniversity senior deputy vice-chancellor Alastair Dawson, Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga) said the hub had been operational since April 2019 and delivered on a 2017 election promise – unlocking a world of opportunities to help CQ manufacturers grow and improve their competitive edge.
“Manufacturing is such a critical part of the Queensland economy and it is a very important part of the economy of Central Queensland,” Mr Dick said about the $10 million facility.
“There are about 430 companies (small and medium sized enterprises), about $1 billion that goes into the local economy and 5000 people working in manufacturing in the region.
“We are opening this hub to be a place of collaboration, connection and support for local businesses.
Mr Dick said CQUniversity was one of the leading places for manufacturing research in relation to the rail industry.
“I want to recognise some amazing manufacturers here in Central Queensland, producing some world-class products right here in the centre of the state,” he said.
“Some of the stories of what they are doing – reproducing enzymes from pineapples, producing world-class sandstone products for export potential around the world, great engineering firms as well, they are making a real difference in the manufacturing space here in CQ and are also creating jobs.
“We work closely with industry to develop this hub and that’s why it’s going to focus on three areas of manufacturing that are very important to CQ.
“The first is rail manufacturing, the second is metal fabrication and production and the third is food innovation.”
Mr Dick said the hub would also find ways to support traditional manufacturing bases in CQ, to become “more innovative, productive and profitable and grow”.
Mr Dawson said the hub would also help to upskill and build the future workforce.
SMW Group’s managing director Jack Trenaman said the hub would be a great asset to the region and local businesses.
“Establishing this new hub means local manufacturers can access funding opportunities, advice and training to make our region’s businesses bigger and better,” Mr Trenaman said.
“The more local businesses grow their capabilities, the more jobs we’re creating for the Rocky region.”
Stefanie Allen, The Morning Bulletin