Permanent funding for the Cairns Manufacturing Hub has been announced by the Queensland government, as part of a $17 million state-wide boost for the manufacturing sector in far north Queensland.
The investment in Manufacturing Hubs and Made in Queensland Grants has created and supported nearly 6,000 jobs to date, according to minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher.
“The work done at these hubs is vital to building and strengthening Queensland’s booming manufacturing sector,” he said. “Manufacturing already contributes $20 billion a year, to the state’s economy and employees and we want to see that grow even further.”
Butcher was joined by his far north government colleagues at Status Signs in Portsmith to make the announcement. Cairns MP, Michael Healy, said the Cairns Manufacturing Hub has already shown great results.
“I know the team at the Cairns Manufacturing Hub have worked really hard to get support for local business and working with a group like Status Signs brings many rewards,” Healy said.
The Cairns manufacturing sector has contributed about $780 million-a-year to the state’s economy and employed more than 6,000 workers locally, Barron River MP Craig Crawford said.
“We cannot underestimate the value of manufacturing in the Cairns region,’’ he said. “It is one of our most important sectors and we want to see manufacturing continue to thrive.’’
Speaker and Mulgrave MP, Curtis Pitt, is confident the ongoing hub funding and associated grants will help far north businesses be recognised as global leaders.
“This funding will ensure Queensland manufacturers continue to receive the services offered by the hubs, remain nationally and internationally competitive, and are in a position to take advantage of growth opportunities,” Pitt said.
Meanwhile, Status Signs director Rhys Carmady said that the Manufacturing Hub and the team had been very helpful in securing a grant that has increased the capability of the business.
“With the help of the great team at the Cairns Manufacturing Hub we have secured a grant of more than $130,000 which we have been able to use to buy a CNC routing machine, which cuts objects into 3D shapes, a 3D UV printer, a CNC laser cutter and some automated software,” he said.
“It’s going to be absolutely vital in helping our business grow.”
The team also helped with training and courses for staff. This has been vital for not only adding skills to the business, but also helpful with staff retention.
“The courses and training have been exactly what we’ve needed and the Manufacturing Hub team, Andrew and Sandra, have been fantastic to deal with,” Carmady said.
Funding of $17.75 million will enable the hubs, including Cairns, to continue to support regional manufacturers to grow their businesses and create local jobs. Each hub has established itself to build on the current economic strengths of their regions.
“The Manufacturing Hubs are bringing together the industry partners, state and local governments, local businesses and educational institutions to collaborate and grow regional manufacturing,” Butcher said.
The Manufacturing Hubs build stronger and sustainable regional businesses and develop connected industry ecosystems to increase national and international competitiveness, lift productivity, stimulate sustainable job growth, and attract private sector investment.