New coordinator for Rockhampton manufacturing hub

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Rockhampton’s manufacturing future is looking bright, with a hub coordinator, a skills development and training officer, and a project support officer hired to staff the Palaszczuk Government’s new $10 million manufacturing hub.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick made the announcement during a meeting with the Rockhampton business community convened by Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga.

“Mick Allen has been appointed as hub coordinator and is a long-time local who knows the central Queensland business community,” Mr Dick said.

“Previously working for the Department of Housing and Public Works, Mick has helped local business participate in major projects like the $200 million expansion of the Capricornia Correctional Centre.

“Mick will help connect local manufacturers with the new services the hub will offer as we drive towards an opening later in 2019.”

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Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the Rockhampton hub, located at Central Queensland University (CQU), will initially focus on rail, advanced metal production and food production innovation.

“It will encourage advanced manufacturing innovation in the rail freight sector, in partnership with the Centre for Railway Engineering, which is part of CQU,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“Local metal and food producers will have access to workforce development and training, and to state-of-the-art technologies to improve capabilities.”

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said regional manufacturing is strong, with around 30 per cent of the sector’s economic contribution delivered through the regions.

“Manufacturing is a key driver of state exports, with sector exports totalling approximately $15.8 billion in 2017–18, or around 22 per cent of the total state export value,” Mrs Lauga said.

“This sector is growing and creating more jobs, with a year-on-year growth rate in Queensland of 5.3 per cent compared to 3.2 per cent nationally the past 12 months.”

Mr Dick said to further enhance the impact of the Rockhampton manufacturing hub the Palaszczuk Government has established a Rail Manufacturing Leaders Group.

“The group is responsible for developing a rail manufacturing strategy for Queensland that will boost the state’s rail manufacturing sector, capture future supply opportunities and build our regional manufacturing capacity.”

Mr Dick said the Palaszczuk Government is committed to building the state’s manufacturing industry through practical initiatives like Made in Queensland, a suite of Industry 4.0 programs, Design in Manufacturing, Women in Manufacturing, and the Hackerspaces program.

“The $40 million Made in Queensland program has, to date, awarded $35.82 million through 78 approved grants, helping to create more than 1000 high-skill jobs,” he said.

This week, regional advanced manufacturers and research institutions around the state are also opening their doors and showcasing their technology as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Inside Advanced Manufacturing series.

Rockhampton’s SMW Group, a leading mining, engineering and industry services provider, will hold a site tour tomorrow to showcase their innovative approach to fabrication, field servicing and mechanical repairs

Image credit: www.qld.gov.au