‘You can make it here’: Celebrating Manufacturing Month in Queensland

Image credit: Minister Glenn Butcher

Queensland is home to a rapidly expanding manufacturing industry that employs over 180,000 people working across a wide range of sectors, such as food and beverages, advanced medication, and the production of precision aerospace components. 

To further foster this growing industry, the Queensland government dedicated September as the state’s Manufacturing Month, announcing the inaugural month last week aimed at providing businesses with the necessary tools, skills, and funding that will help futureproof the industry. 

The celebration is part of Queensland’s Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan and aims to showcase the factors that make Queensland the best place in Australia to build, buy, and invest. 

Queensland’s first-ever Manufacturing Month

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher launched the inaugural Manufacturing Month on 1 September and announced a range of events showcasing the local sector’s capabilities. 

Among the events is Inside Advanced Manufacturing, where 21 advanced manufacturers and 10 manufacturing support organisations in Queensland will showcase the Industry 4.0 technology and processes that have benefitted their companies. 

Meanwhile, a Manufacturing Parliamentary Showcase is set to feature 25 exhibitors, who will demonstrate and display their products and capabilities as part of a Manufacturing Expo at Queensland Parliament House. 

“The manufacturing industry is one of our biggest industries, and supporting its growth means more secure Queensland jobs,” Minister Butcher said. “Queensland manufacturers are innovative, hard-working, and, above all, resilient. Their creativity during the COVID pandemic, to pivot to other products to capitalise on new opportunities is testament to this.”

Promoting women in manufacturing 

The Queensland government has committed to boosting the number of women participating in the state’s manufacturing workforce to drive innovation and growth in the industry. 

To further this effort, the state government rolled out the Women in Manufacturing strategy as part of the Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan. 

To further promote the strategy, the government recently partnered with the Gold Coast Titans NRLW team. The partnership will focus on promoting the Women in Manufacturing Mentoring Program and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Toolkit. 

“We know it’s difficult for manufacturers to attract and retain skilled workers, and we know that only 11% of workers on the tools are women – we can do better than this,” said Minister Butcher. “Attracting and upskilling women is a win-win for the workforce and for women, who can find a rewarding career in manufacturing.”

Backing local manufacturers

The $101.5 million Made in Queensland program was established to help small and medium-sized manufacturers boost global competitiveness, productivity, and innovation through the adoption of new technologies and to generate high-skilled jobs for the future. 

Caravan manufacturer ZoneRV recently received a $1.16 million grant from the program, which allowed it to purchase the largest 3D printer in Australia. 

The grant was won in 2021 as part of Made in Queensland Round 4 and has enabled the company to expand capacity and create 99 new positions in order to fulfil consumer demand. 

The state has also launched the $28.5 million Manufacturing Hub Grant Program to assist eligible businesses in the Cairns, Central Queensland, Gold Coast, Mackay and Townsville SA4 regions. 

For more information on the Queensland Manufacturing Month and the state’s continuously growing local industry, visit the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water’s page