Cloncurry, in North West Queensland, will be the site of Australia’s first drone testing facility, with Boeing signed up to test their drones.
The announcement is part of the Queensland government’s $33.3 million investment strategy, North West Queensland Economic Diversification Strategy Implementation Plan 2019-2021.
While the state government acknowledged that minerals will continue to be a large part of the region’s economy, aerospace was one of the emerging industries for the region, highlighted Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick.
With commercial drone technology in demand from the mining sector, the facility will expand the potential of local drone manufacturing and customisation, with dedicated testing facilities unimpeded by major flight routes.
“Mineral resources will continue to be the mainstay of the North West economy, and the implementation plan sees an ongoing and expanded commitment to drive exploration activities and attract new investment through a new economy minerals package,” said Dick.
The diversification plan also includes funding for the exploration of new minerals, including rare earth minerals used in the manufacturing of electronics and renewable energy technologies.
“We are setting out the economic diversification of the region to ensure continued growth and momentum is maintained,” said Dick.
“We have also identified additional economic growth sectors for North West Queensland – agriculture, tourism, and business and industry.”