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Manufacturing Hub opens opportunities for Rockhampton businesses

Published:11 February 2020

State member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke (left), CQUni Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Services Division) Alastair Dawson, Queensland Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick, and State member for Keppel Brittany Lauga.

The new Rockhampton Manufacturing Hub, located at CQUniversity’s Rockhampton North Campus, was officially opened by the Palaszczuk Government today, unlocking a world of opportunities to help local manufacturers grow and improve their competitive edge.

Minister for Manufacturing Cameron Dick said the $10 million hub, has been operational since April 2019 and delivers on a 2017 election promise.

“Manufacturing in Central Queensland is already thriving, employing more than 5000 people,” Mr Dick said.

“The Rockhampton Manufacturing Hub will further strengthen the sector, as a centre of expertise for advanced manufacturing innovation and skills, which in turn will enhance private sector investment and create more jobs in the region.

“Local manufacturers will gain access to business development programs, skills and training, and equipment through the Central Queensland University campus.

“By focusing on Central Queensland’s key manufacturing strengths of rail, metal production, and food innovation, the hub is ensuring it’s full steam ahead for local industry.”

Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government would always support manufacturing jobs in the region.

“Through the manufacturing hubs, we are turbo-charging manufacturing in Central Queensland, making it easier for our local businesses to connect, upskill and innovate,” Mr O'Rourke said.

“This means more jobs for locals, especially in those industries already well established in the region like rail, metal and food production.”

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said manufacturing was a vital sector for the region.

“Manufacturing in Central Queensland is a billion-dollar industry,” Ms Lauga said.

“By helping our local manufacturers increase their productivity through improved processes, innovation and shared information and networks, we hope to see even more jobs created.”

CQUniversity Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Alastair Dawson said the hub would be strongly linked to the university and its facilities like the Centre for Railway Engineering.

“Co-locating the hub on CQUniversity’s Rockhampton North campus will give local manufacturers direct access to our world-class facilities,” Mr Dawson said.

“This will give industry in Central Queensland the opportunity to invest in upskilling and building the workforce of tomorrow.”

Mr Dick said the new facility was one of three manufacturing hubs delivered by the Queensland Government as part of a total $30 million investment.

“Our recently announced $13.5 million Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program will also assist regional manufacturers to create jobs, improve productivity and build international competitiveness.”

Rockhampton manufacturing company SMW Group’s Managing Director Jack Trenaman said the hub would be a great asset to the region and to local businesses looking to upskill and scale-up.

“Establishing this new hub means local manufacturers can access funding opportunities, advice and training to make our region’s businesses bigger and better,” Mr Trenaman said.

“And the more local businesses grow their capabilities, the more jobs we’re creating for the Rocky region.”

Visit the regional manufacturing hubs webpage to learn more.