The Queensland State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Smart Precinct NQ to establish the $5 million Defence Supply Chain Hub in an innovative new industry precinct in the Townsville CBD.
According to the Government’s media statement, the hub will be located in the Smart Precinct North Queensland in Palmer Street, South Townsville, and will operate as ‘a one-stop-shop’ for advice and expertise on regional supply chain logistics as well as maintenance.
Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said that with over 15,000 defence personnel and four major defence establishments, Townsville was an ideal location for a defence industries hub, supporting local businesses to create regional employment opportunities in the defence and aerospace sectors.
He said two staff had already been appointed to the Defence Hub, to work with businesses and defence industry stakeholders to grow and develop North Queensland businesses to become Defence-ready.
“The hubs will work with businesses to develop their understanding of the defence market, enabling the development of capability and supply chains,” Mr Dick added.
“Through consultation with Townsville businesses, we have determined the key focus for the region and the services that local industry needs.
The Townsville Hub will focus on R&D, training and simulated services, aerospace platform deep maintenance, vehicle and maritime sustainment and logistics and garrison support.
“Accordingly, the Defence Hub will focus on industry growth in these key regional strengths, many of which are operationally critical to, and a sovereign capability for, the Australian Defence Force,” the Minister continued.
“Our focus is to support our defence industry to be agile, resilient and responsive to the Australian Defence Force capability requirements in a rapidly changing global environment.”
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the defence hub would be an exciting anchor tenant for North Queensland’s new Smart Precinct, leading to a revitalisation of the building with a variety of other organisations and businesses to follow the move into the precinct.
“The precinct is a collaborative project that includes Townsville City Council, Burdekin Shire Council, Hinchinbrook Shire Council, James Cook University, CQUniversity, DEVeloper NQ, Coder Dojo and now the Defence Hub,” Ms Hill said.
“The defence industries sector is growing quickly and establishing a national and international reputation for excellence, so the hub is going to tap into that rapid growth.
“We are pleased to partner with the Palaszczuk Government to deliver this hub which will act as a catalyst for more jobs in advanced manufacturing.”
Mr Dick also noted that the Townsville Manufacturing hub, which is scheduled to open soon, would also have a demonstration space in the Smart precinct where it will showcase technologies, processes and practices to regional manufacturers.
“The regional hubs are part of the government’s commitment to supporting and growing Queensland’s manufacturing industry, which also includes practical initiatives such as Made in Queensland, Industry 4.0, Design in Manufacturing, Women in Manufacturing and the Hackerspace programs,” he said.
“To increase the capability of local manufacturers to undertake defence work, the Townsville Manufacturing Hub will have strategic links and work closely with the Townsville Defence Hub, once it’s established.”