New coordinator for Rockhampton manufacturing hub

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Cameron Dick, Minister for State Development, has announced Mick Allen as Rockhampton’s new manufacturing hub coordinator and of the Rail Manufacturing Leaders Group.

“Mick Allen has been appointed a hub coordinator and is a long-time local who knows the central Queensland business community,” Dick said.

“Previously working for the Department of Housing and Public Works, Mick has helped local business participate in major projects like the $200 million expansion of the Capricornia Correctional Centre.”

Allen’s role as hub coordinator will see him connect local manufacturers with new services the hub will offer.

The Palaszczuk Government’s $10 million Rockhampton hub will focus on rail, advanced metal production, and food production innovation.

To further enhance the impact of the Rockhampton manufacturing hub, the Palaszczuk Government has established a Rail Manufacturing Leaders Group.

“The group is responsible for developing a rail manufacturing strategy for Queensland that will boost the state’s rail manufacturing sector, capture future supply opportunities and build our regional manufacturing capacity,” Dick said.

Member for Rockhampton, Barry O’Rourke, said the hub will be located at Central Queensland University (CQU).

“It will encourage advanced manufacturing, innovation in the rail freight sector, in partnership with the Centre for Railway Engineering, which is part of CQU,” O’Rourke said.

“Local metal and food producers will have access to workforce development and training, and to state-of-the-art technologies to improve capabilities.”

Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga, said regional manufacturing is strong, with around 30 per cent of the sector’s economic contribution delivered through the regions.

“Manufacturing is a key driver of state exports, with sector exports totalling approximately $15.8 billion in 2017 to 2018, or around 22 per cent of the total state export value,” Lauga said.

“The sector is growing and creating more jobs, with a year-on-year- growth rate in Queensland of 5.3 per cent compared to 3.2 per cent nationally the past 12 months.”

The hub, located at CQ University, is set to open later this year.