June 2018

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Premier joins 'mobiles for medals' drive in Tokyo

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has joined a unique recycling drive in Japan which is using old consumer electronics to make medals for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has joined a unique recycling drive in Japan that is using old consumer electronics to make medals for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

The Premier donated an old Queensland Government mobile phone to the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project while visiting the construction site of the Games Aquatics Centre as part of a recent trade mission to Japan.

‘Queensland is always keen to support new and innovative ways to recycle and process waste, and the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project certainly fits that bill,’ the Premier said.

‘Japan is aiming to have 100% recycled content making up the medals for the next Olympics, which makes environmental sense, but also gives people a sense of participation and involvement in the Olympics and medal-making process.

‘It’s exciting to think that one day this old device may have a new life as a gold medal hanging proudly around the neck of a champion Queensland athlete.’

The Premier also met Japanese Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Shinichi Suzuki to strengthen ties that developed during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

‘A delegation from the Tokyo2020 team was on hand in April to observe our security preparations and today Minister Suzuki confirmed they were especially impressed with our cyber-security measures,’ the Premier said.

‘We’ll continue to talk to Tokyo2020 through their preparations about issues including how to train and manage volunteers for the Games.’

The Tokyo 2020 Medal Project aims to make around 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals for the Games from metals contained within small consumer electronic devices.

Since the initiative was launched in April 2017, more than 14 million tonnes of used electronic devices have been collected by municipalities across Japan, with 3.3 million old mobile phones donated so far.

The Premier also used the trade mission to promote Queensland peanuts and other fresh produce, and visited a special Queensland classroom in Tokyo, which has been set up to improve the English conversation skills of Japanese school students.

She was in Japan in late May while en route to the BIO2018 convention in Boston.

Expanding Queensland’s international presence is a priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

May 2018

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Port of Brisbane unveils new blockchain tech

The Port of Brisbane has unveiled a new system that will make it the first Australian port to gather, store and share freight supply-chain information using blockchain technology.

The Port of Brisbane has unveiled a new system that will make it the first Australian port to integrate freight supply-chain information using blockchain technology.

The new Trade Community System uses blockchains (secure, cloud-based digital ledgers) to help remove duplications and inefficiencies in supply-chain information.

The system has been developed by the port over a number of years in collaboration with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and PwC Australia.

Commenting at the unveiling of a proof-of-concept app for the system on 29 May, ACCI Director of Trade and International Affairs Bryan Clark said efficient supply chains were vital to Australia’s international trade success.

‘As a trading nation, Australia relies on efficient and effective international supply chains to drive its economic engine room,’ said Mr Clark.

‘At present the current inefficiency across Australian supply chains has added to the cost of doing business, creating up to $450 in excess costs per container.

‘This doesn’t just represent in excess of $1 billion in value lost, but goes to the heart of Australian commodity trade viability when it gets priced out of the competitive global market.’

Around 9 million container movements take place at Australia’s 5 major ports each year, with this figure projected to rise to 15 million movements by 2025.

Port of Brisbane CEO Roy Cummins said the new system was designed to deliver major efficiency gains through better supply-chain integration.

‘To drive new efficiency gains, industry leaders need to develop mechanisms which facilitate the integration and interoperability of commercial operators across the supply chain and logistics sector,’ Mr Cummins said.

‘It is the right time for industry to initiate a reform and modernisation agenda which will shift the dial for Australia’s international business.’

The Trade Community System will work to link end-to-end data, improving productivity and reducing costs through digitised trading of information.

It will address a number of points and recommendations from the recently released Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities Report.

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TIQ hosts Beef Australia visitors from Argentina, Asia

TIQ played host during May to delegations from Argentina and Asia visiting Queensland for the Beef Australia 2018 expo being held in Rockhampton.

TIQ played host during May to delegations from Argentina and Asia visiting Queensland for the Beef Australia 2018 expo being held in Rockhampton.

Held every three years, Beef Australia is one of the world’s leading beef industry events and attracted around 100,000 visitors, including more than 900 international business delegates.

This year’s delegates included more than 30 beef producers from Argentina, whose visit was organised by TIQ’s Chile and Brisbane offices.

The group was drawn from Argentina’s non-profit Regional Consortiums of Agricultural Experimentation, which meet regularly to share farming information and knowledge.

TIQ CEO Virginia Greville said the delegation’s visit had benefits to both countries.

‘The Argentinian delegates were given an overview of the $3 billion Queensland beef industry by staff from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and TIQ,’ Ms Greville said.

‘These visits enable the strengthening of relationships with other beef-producing nations and promotion of our industry.’

The Argentinian farmers toured the Port of Brisbane and inspected feedlots and abattoirs in New South Wales before flying to Rockhampton for Beef Australia.

TIQ also welcomed a second delegation during the week, hosting 22 migration agents, business migrants and investors from China, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Accompanied by staff from TIQ’s Business and Skilled Migration Queensland team, the delegation spent a week learning about trends and opportunities in the state’s agriculture sector.

After attending a welcome briefing in Brisbane, the group visited Beef Australia and port and farm areas around Rockhampton.

Twelve delegates then headed further north to visit Central Queensland cattle farms and meet representatives from the Mackay and Whitsunday regional councils.

All delegates left with a better understanding of investment opportunities in beef and cattle export, fruit and grain export, and other Queensland enterprises.

The Queensland Government was a principal partner in Beef Australia, which ran from 6 to 12 May.

TIQ promoted Beef Australia through its 15 international offices, and was an integral part of the Beef Australia Handshakes Program, which matched investors, exporters and producers attending the expo.

Agriculture is identified as one of Queensland’s traditional export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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EnergyLab accelerates clean energy for Queensland

Australia’s leading clean-energy accelerator EnergyLab will establish a base in Brisbane to mentor Queensland start-ups.

Australia’s leading clean-energy accelerator EnergyLab will establish a base in Brisbane to mentor Queensland start-ups.

EnergyLab provides start-ups with access to advice, introductions and finance to help them transform clean energy and biotechnology ideas into commercial reality

Announcing the move, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said local start-ups would receive a range of support from EnergyLab.

‘The EnergyLab program will provide entrepreneurs with business coaching, connections to a network of investors, mentors and partners, and assistance in raising capital,’ Mr Dick said.

‘It will provide access to a network of more than 100 industry-specific mentors who can assist start-ups with the best foundation to commercialise their business ideas.’

Four start-ups have been selected to join the first Brisbane cohort:

  • Cirlution: a biofutures start-up that plans to capture the maximum value from food waste and convert it into clean energy and heat
  • Fluxpower: an electricity-payments network that responds in real-time
  • Charge Cube: an affordable, modular solar battery system targeted at the 1.2 billion people in developing countries living without electricity
  • Sunshine Cycles: a solar-powered electric bike hiring service.

EnergyLab first launched its acceleration program in Sydney last year, and has recently expanded across the country.

Its Queensland base is being jointly funded by the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning and the Department of Environment and Science, at a cost of $400,000 over a two-year period.

The Australian Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) provides seed capital to the EnergyLab start-up companies, via the $200 million Clean Energy Innovation Fund.

The four EnergyLab Queensland start-ups will be hosted in the CEFC’s Brisbane office.

There will be a further intake of start-ups in Queensland in early 2019.

Renewables and start-ups are both priorities identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Action plan to futureproof state’s agriculture industry

A new action plan for agriculture and food research in Queensland is designed to futureproof the state’s ag and food industries and strengthen their position in international markets.

A new action plan for agriculture and food research in Queensland is designed to futureproof the state’s ag and food industries and strengthen their position in international markets.

The Queensland Agriculture and Food Research, Development and Extension 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan is designed to build on Queensland’s traditional strengths in agriculture and food, and use innovation to help the sector transition successfully to a new future.

Announcing the new plan, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner said agriculture and food R&D was vital to helping Queensland producers remain productive, profitable and sustainable.

‘Despite the current six-year drought and the impacts of periodic cyclones, the value of Queensland’s agriculture sector had risen to nearly $20 billion, rising by an annual average of 1.4 per cent over the past decade,’ Mr Furner said.

‘We want to futureproof our industry so this level of growth can continue on a sustainable basis.

‘Rapid market growth in Asia represents a transformative opportunity for our producers who have the advantage of proximity and a reputation as a provider of world-class food.

‘To better harness these opportunities, we have arrived at a set of 14 actions organised around the goals of boosting innovation and commercialisation; identifying agriculture and food RD&E opportunities; and supporting the sector to grow and develop new businesses.’

The action plan identifies five global megatrends likely to affect Queensland producers:

  • an increasingly global economy
  • choosy customers
  • smarter food chains
  • healthier eating habits
  • changing weather patterns.

Key actions to address these megatrends include:

  • supporting commercialisation and agtech start-ups
  • encouraging innovation in response to climate change and variability
  • attracting leading food and agriculture R&D to Queensland
  • supporting supply-chain access to current and new markets
  • partnering with industry to refine best management practice approaches.

The new action plan is one of a suite of industry roadmaps developed as part of the Advance Queensland initiative, adding to existing roadmaps for advanced manufacturing, aerospace, biofutures, biomedical, defence, and the mining equipment technology and services industries.

Supporting innovation and the state’s agriculture and food sectors are both priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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New regional hackerspaces to turn ideas into products

Seven new high-tech hubs to encourage creativity will be established across Queensland using Queensland Hackerspaces grants.

Seven new high-tech hubs to encourage creativity will be established across Queensland using Queensland Hackerspaces grants.

Hackerspaces are hubs offering high-tech facilities where creative Queenslanders can design and manufacture new products.

Grants totalling $170,000 will enable seven regional communities to start hackerspaces and three south-east Queensland hackerspaces to expand.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the grants would allow the hackerspaces to buy new equipment and offer more training to creative Queenslanders.

‘The grants will mean they can buy equipment such as fabrication machines and 3D printers, run workshops in advanced manufacturing skills, and encourage entrepreneurs and innovators to take the next step to turn their ideas into products,’ Mr Dick said.

‘These spaces are places where the next generation can learn about DIY and the maker culture, acquire new knowledge and skills and inspire their passion for tech that could turn into a career in manufacturing.

‘We are generating grassroots advanced manufacturing opportunities and equipping the sector for the future by developing accessible spaces where people can come to create advanced technologies and prototypes.’

Hackerspaces are a global movement that grew out of new technologies such as 3D printers and the availability of fabrication tools, where individuals and small businesses can come together to learn faster and exchange skills and capital.

The Hackerspaces grants program is an initiative of the Queensland Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan, released in December 2016.

Hackerspaces $20,000 establishment grants have been awarded to The Makers Cairns, Split Spaces Mackay, MakerSpaces Mackay, Maleny Makers, SSC Makerspace Warana, The Arc Fortitude Valley, and YFS (Substation 33) Kingston.

Hackerspaces $10,000 expansion grants were awarded to Hackerspace Brisbane at Eagle Farm, Ipswich Hackerspace and Gold Coast Techspace at Mudgeeraba.

Supporting innovation is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Superyacht strategy developed for Queensland

A five-year strategy to position Queensland as a superyacht hub will attract investment, expand infrastructure and create jobs.

A five-year strategy to position Queensland as a superyacht hub will attract investment, expand infrastructure and create jobs.

That was the message at the launch of the Queensland Superyacht Strategy at the Australian Superyacht, Marine Export and Commercial Marine Conference at Sanctuary Cove on 22 May.

Speaking at the launch, Superyacht Australia CEO MaryAnne Edwards welcomed the new strategy and support for the industry.

‘Queensland is a key destination for superyachts and, as a result, the supply chain that supports these vessels contributes significantly to the Queensland economy, especially regional Queensland and we see continuous growth in the sector,’ Ms Edwards said.

‘A superyacht strategy for Queensland is critical to harness the opportunities, ensure the infrastructure is in place to support growth, and market the capability of the industry alongside the tourism experience of visiting the many signature experiences Queensland has to offer.’

Also speaking at the launch was Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick, who said the Strategy aimed to increase the number of superyachts coming to Queensland.

‘Superyacht activity in south east Queensland brought $630 million into the state’s economy and supported 4,500 jobs in 2016, and is expected to expand to $1.1 billion and nearly 8,000 jobs by 2021,’ Mr Dick said.

‘Going by the rule of thumb that superyacht charters spend about 10% of the value of the vessel on running costs, plus the cost of maintenance, provisioning and follow-on tourism, we can readily see the benefits this work will bring to Queensland.

‘Our strategy … aims to attract superyachts to more places along our 13,000km coastline and create business and jobs opportunities in regional Queensland, building on the success of Cairns, the Whitsundays and the Gold Coast, and investigating additional locations such as Bowen, Wide Bay and Moreton Bay.

‘We are positioning Queensland as a key superyacht hub in the Asia Pacific by 2023, with 10% more of the global market.’

The government has also invested $45,000 to keep the Australian Superyacht, Marine Export and Commercial Marine Conference in Queensland for the next three years.

Implementation of the Queensland Superyacht Strategy will be led by the Member for Cairns, Michael Healy.

Attracting investment to Queensland is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Neoen gets approval for Tablelands wind farm

French renewable energy company Neoen has received approval to develop a $300 million wind farm at Kaban in the Tablelands region of Far North Queensland.

French renewable energy company Neoen has received approval to develop a $300 million wind farm at Kaban in the Tablelands region of Far North Queensland.

The Queensland Government announced on Monday that development approval had been granted for the Kaban renewable energy hub 80km south-west of Cairns.

The new hub will combine a 160MW wind farm with supporting infrastructure, including battery storage.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the wind farm project would bring substantial investment to the region and was expected to create around 150 jobs during construction.

‘The proposed development at Kaban is for a wind farm for up to 29 turbines and additional infrastructure, including a substation and battery storage facility,’ Mr Dick said.

‘This means jobs for the region over the 12-month estimated construction period and more clean energy for the region to tap into.

‘The green power hub, which will incorporate the wind farm, is a $300 million project, planned to operate for at least 30 years and generate enough power to supply 57,000 homes.’

The Kaban project is the latest of more than two dozen large-scale renewables projects currently committed or under construction throughout Queensland, including the recently announced $200 million Lakeland Wind Farm, also in the far north.

Other Queensland renewables projects with overseas investors include the Aldoga solar project near Gladstone and the Susan River and Childers solar farms in the Wide Bay–Burnett region.

The Kaban project will be the third Australian renewable energy hub for Neoen, which recently commenced construction on the Bulgana Green Power Hub in Victoria and developed the Hornsdale Wind Farm in South Australia in 2016.

Minister Dick said the Kaban turbines would have a maximum height of 240m and environmental impacts had been considered when assessing Neoen’s proposal.

‘Neoen worked closely with the department to assess acoustic impacts on nearby houses, impacts on fauna, native vegetation clearing and traffic impacts,’ Mr Dick said.

‘Conditions are recommended to be imposed on the decision that will mitigate and manage acoustic, flora and fauna and traffic impacts.

‘The Queensland Government welcomes private sector investment of this kind in support of the state’s renewable energy policy.’

Developing Queensland’s renewables industry and attracting smart foreign investment are both priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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$1.3m funding to boost Queensland food exports

From mangoes and macadamias to strawberries, sweet corn and pork, Queensland food producers are sharing in $1.3m in grants to help them conquer international markets.

From mangoes and macadamias to strawberries, sweet corn and pork, Queensland food producers are sharing in $1.3 million in grants to help them conquer international markets.

The Growing Queensland’s Food Exports Program is designed to boost Queensland’s regional economies by helping local food producers build their export capability.

The first round of the program has awarded grants of up to $100,000 to a range of producers, including Manbulloo mangoes in Far North Queensland, Macadamias Australia in Bundaberg, and SunPork Fresh Foods in South East Queensland.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said six food companies had received funding in the first round of the program.

‘The producers selected for grants are either already exporting or are ready to export and seeking to access overseas markets,’ he said.

‘By providing funding of up to $100,000, we’re assisting these food companies to build their business capability to take advantage of opportunities to grow exports.

‘There’ll be an increased knowledge of target export market destinations and consumers, and an improved understanding of competitors, product specifications, supply chain handling and export business practices.’

Projects receiving grants in the first round of funding are:

  • Manbulloo (Far North Queensland) – to expand mango exports to Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore
  • Macadamias Australia (Bundaberg) – to develop export-ready retail products
  • Mulgowie Fresh (Lockyer) – to capitalise on packaged sweet corn consumer traceability
  • E & A Coco and Sons (Elimbah) – to export strawberries to Hong Kong and Indonesia
  • SunPork Fresh Foods (Kingaroy and Murarrie) – to develop pork products for the high-end Asian market
  • VFPlus (Burdekin) – to develop exports of high-quality melons to Japan and Singapore.

The Growing Queensland’s Food Exports Program focuses primarily on horticulture, though other producers can also apply.

The program provides grants of $50,000–$100,000, with successful applicants contributing at least 50% of the required project funding.

Applications for a second round of grants will open in July 2018.

Queensland is Australia’s largest producer of vegetables and second largest producer of fruit and nuts.

Increasing the state’s share of national exports and strengthening regional economies are both priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Practical business case training for Queensland SMEs

Queensland’s regional SMEs can learn how to write effective business cases that are more likely to get investors on board at a workshop being offered in Townsville and Bundaberg in June.

Queensland’s regional SMEs can learn how to write effective business cases that are more likely to get investors on board at a workshop being offered in Townsville and Bundaberg in June.

The Business Cases in Practice workshop will teach participants how to develop robust business cases, an essential element in making any business ‘investment ready’.

The two-day workshop will be presented by Dr John Sing, a company director and academic with almost 30 years’ experience in finance-related roles.

Participants will spend the first day of the workshop learning how to develop and revise an effective business case.

The second day will be spent developing a real-life business case for one of their own current projects, and meeting one-on-one with experts who can provide individual advice.

Workshop activities will include open discussions and practical, step-by-step exercises.

All material will be presented in an easy-to-understand manner, with content and examples tailored for small to medium-sized enterprises in particular regions.

Workshops will be held:

  • in Townsville on 5–6 June
  • in Bundaberg on 18–19 June.

Registrations are open now and close 31 May for Townsville and 15 June for Bundaberg.

A registration fee of $150 includes all materials and catering over the two days.

The workshops are being offered by TIQ in partnership with UQ Executive Education and Queensland Treasury Corporation.

Providing investment training for regional SMEs is one of the initiatives of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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