The WA state government is backing the potential of the South-West’s advanced manufacturing industry, allocating $485,000 towards a study that will examine the feasibility of establishing an advanced manufacturing hub in the region.
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Bunbury MLA Don Punch today announced the state government will take the next steps in exploring the viability of the proposed hub.
“We have the capability to be manufacturing much more than we currently do in WA.
“We know that the skills and services developed by our mining expertise can drive local manufacturing,” MacTiernan said. “We are inspired by success stories of numerous South West advanced manufacturers – this study will show where the industry has the potential to grow, build capability and become more competitive.”
“I am a big believer in the capabilities of our local businesses including in advanced manufacturing – and I believe there is room to expand this sector,” Punch said.
“The South-West region with its access to port, rail and road supply chain infrastructure, available industrial land, highly trained workers, and local supplies of key minerals and other resources is ideally placed to host a manufacturing hub. It is fantastic to see State Government, local government and the private sector coming together for the good of the local economy and creating the jobs of the future.”
It is envisioned a facility in Bunbury Geographe would give manufacturers an edge when competing for work by providing local access to infrastructure, technology, training, education and research.
By boosting business capability and capacity to develop new supply chains that would capitalise on global markets, the hub would support hundreds of future jobs, including apprenticeships.
There has been a groundswell of local support for the South West Development Commission-co-ordinated project. Industry and local government organisations will also be contributing funding towards the study, as well as participating on a steering committee.
The announcement of the study follows on from industry roundtables held in Bunbury that were kick-started by Minister MacTiernan.
The state government has identified technology and advanced manufacturing as a priority economic sector that will help to grow and diversify the economy, create jobs, and secure the State’s future.