Cairns manufacturing hub now open

The Cairns Manufacturing Hub has now opened to enable manufacturers in Far North Queensland to access the latest technology and training.

The $10 million Hub is located at TAFE Queensland’s Cairns Campus, and is one of three regional manufacturing hubs across Queensland which will grow manufacturing across Queensland, said Minister for Manufacturing, Cameron Dick.

“The opening of the Cairns Manufacturing Hub continues our delivery of facilities and services that will strengthen and grow regional manufacturing, skills and jobs,” he said.

According to a statement from the Queensland government, manufacturing in Cairns contributed $787 million to the Queensland economy in 2017-2018 and employs 6,300 people locally as of September 2019.

Dick outlined that the hub will focus on key areas of competitive advantage.

“The Cairns Manufacturing Hub will initially focus on growing the marine, aviation and food production sectors, and it’s already delivering results.”

The Hub has already pursued three projects; an advanced fibre composites maintenance and repair facility for aviation, defence, and superyachts; advanced welding training for the marine sector, following ISO9606; and the FNQ Food Incubator for the commercialisation of early-stage food processors.

According to Norship general manager (manufacturing), Steve Howarth, the Hub will provide the impetus for companies to pursue next generation projects.

“Making a facility like the hub available for local businesses shows excellent foresight for the important role advanced manufacturing will play,” he said.

At the launch of the Hub, Dick, along with Training and Skills Development Minister, Shannon Fentiman, launched the Skills Implementation Plan for Advanced Manufacturing.

The Plan will enable Queensland to have the workforce to support advanced manufacturing.

“This significant investment, along with the new manufacturing hub and Skills Implementation Plan, is all part of our long-term plan to ensure we have the skilled workforce for the jobs now and into the future,” said Fentiman.