Three new manufacturing hubs to support regional business growth are scheduled to open this year in Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton, with a total of $30 million in funding from the Queensland Government.

The hubs will help local manufacturers grow and become more productive by providing expert advice and support as well as skills development and training.

The hubs will focus on key manufacturing sectors in each region:

  • marine, aviation and food manufacturing industries in Cairns
  • food transformation advanced manufacturing and advanced metal production manufacturing through Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things in Townsville
  • rail manufacturing and technology, advanced technologies for metal production and food product innovation in Rockhampton.

Announcing the next steps in the hubs’ development, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said they would help Queensland’s regional manufacturers become more globally competitive.

‘These hubs will provide a catalyst to promote and deliver world-leading technologies, processes and practices to manufacturers in these regions and attract increased private-sector investment and jobs to Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton,’ he said.

‘They will also ensure the manufacturing sector in each region continues to thrive well into the future, underpinned by the skilled workforce and networks needed to strengthen and evolve to meet market and industry demands.’

Mr Dick said through the hubs, regional manufacturers would have easy access to business-development programs, skills and training, and equipment.

‘Each hub will develop strong links with local universities and schools to develop a workforce with strong skills in science, technology, engineering and maths,’ he said.

‘My department has consulted with local businesses, local governments, unions and educational institutions to develop the best model for capitalising on regional strengths in each city.’

Each manufacturing hub will be staffed by a hub coordinator, a skills development and training officer and a project support officer.

The hubs are scheduled to open in the early part of this year and recruitment is underway for hub staff.

You can read more about the new hubs on the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Manufacturing and Planning website.

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