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CQUni welded to success of new manufacturing hubs, backed by $30 million of State funding

CQUni welded to success of new manufacturing hubs, backed by $30 million of State funding

Published:19 December 2018

Director of CQUni's Centre for Railway Engineering, Professor Colin Cole (left) with Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick, Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga.

CQUniversity will host a new $10 million manufacturing hub at its Rockhampton City Campus and will be a stakeholder in similar hubs being established in Cairns and Townsville, underpinned by an overall Queensland Government investment of $30 million.

The hubs are being established to support local manufacturers to become more productive and grow their businesses.

The Rockhampton Hub delivery model will focus on Rail Manufacturing and Technology, Advanced Technologies for Metal Production, and Food Product Innovation.

CQUniversity Acting Provost, Professor Col Greensill says the University is looking forward to partnering with the Queensland State Government and local industry leaders in this exciting initiative.

"The  Rockhampton Manufacturing Hub will identify opportunities, in terms of skills development and training, business development and advanced manufacturing for the local region," Professor Greensill says.

"It will act as the catalyst to deliver world-leading technologies, processes and practices to our local industry and will attract more investment into this sector while promoting jobs growth.  This is an important initiative for Rockhampton."

In partnership with local industry and CQUniversity's Centre for Railway Engineering, the Rockhampton Hub will encourage innovation into the rail freight sector. The hub will promote advanced manufacturing for maintenance and construction materials, train control systems, and monitoring and testing. The hub will also develop capability throughout the supply chain, for local businesses and suppliers to the rail industry.

The Rockhampton Hub will call for industry leadership from metal producers to help Rockhampton’s SMEs transform their businesses models, improve supply chain capability, and move into advanced manufacturing.

The hub will also assist food producers with improving efficiencies in their business models, demonstrate the latest state-of-the-art technology, and assist with workforce development and training. The hub will partner with industry and local businesses to
raise industry capability and increase efficiency and productivity gains.

The hubs will be staffed by a hub coordinator, a skills development and training officer, and a project support officer in each location. Recruitment for these positions will begin soon, to plan for the opening of the hubs in early 2019.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick announced the hubs this week to provide a place for local manufacturing businesses to receive expert advice and support around how they can expand.

“Our government made a commitment to Queenslanders to establish manufacturing hubs in regional areas to drive this important sector while bolstering local economies, and we are delivering on that commitment,” he said.

“The Rockhampton hub will provide a catalyst to promote and deliver world-leading technologies, processes and practices to manufacturers in the region and attract increased private sector investment and jobs to Central Queensland.

“It will support manufacturers to develop strong links with local universities and schools to develop a workforce with strong skills in science, technology, engineering and maths.”

Mr Dick said manufacturers will have easy access to business development programs, skills and training and equipment through CQUniversity Rockhampton City campus.

“My department has consulted with local businesses, local governments, unions and educational institutions to develop the best model for the Rockhampton region,” he said.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said the new hub will be a valuable asset to the Rockhampton region.

“This investment will assist local businesses to get the advice and support they need to grow and be able to employ more Queenslanders,” she said.

“CQUni TAFE provides world-class training to ensure we will have the skilled workforce for the future of manufacturing.”

Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said, “the hub will support joint projects to strengthen key manufacturing sectors in the region, which in turn creates and sustains jobs, generates industry opportunities and bolsters the local economy".

“The hub, in partnership with local industry and the Centre for Railway Engineering at CQUniversity, will encourage innovation into the rail freight sector through advanced manufacturing.

“It will also develop capability throughout the supply chain, for local businesses and suppliers to the rail industry.”

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said, “the hub will also assist food and metal producers with improving efficiencies in their business models, demonstrate the latest state-of-the-art technology, and assist with workforce development and training".

“The Central Queensland manufacturing hub will ensure the region’s manufacturing sector continues to thrive well into the future, supported by the skills, networks and jobs it needs to strengthen and evolve to meet market and industry demands.

“I have been fighting hard to state the case for this manufacturing hub for our region, including meeting with a number of government representatives and others to ensure this important project got off the ground in Central Queensland, so it is fantastic to see the hub coming to fruition thanks to the commitment of our government to make it so.”

General Manager of Teys Australia and member of the Manufacturing Ministerial Committee, Wasantha Mudannayake said food manufacturing accounts for almost half of the manufacturing sub-sector by employment in the Rockhampton Local Government Area.

“I am delighted to be part of the hub to raise industry capability and grow the region’s local manufacturing businesses,” Mr Mudannayake said.

Mr Dick said that, as at December last year, Central Queensland’s manufacturing sector contributed more than one billion dollars to the state’s economy annually and represented 5.7 per cent of all industry employment in the region.

“There are around 250 manufacturing small-to-medium enterprises operating in the Central Queensland region and we want to see that number grow,” he said.

Mr Dick said the Queensland Government is also investing $10 million in Townsville and $10 million in Cairns to establish manufacturing hubs.

“Manufacturing in Queensland is diverse, with the top five employing sub-sectors being food product manufacturing, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, fabricated metal production and furniture," he said.

“The manufacturing hub model aligns closely with our government’s $7.6 million Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan."