The Queensland state government will reinvigorate the policy agenda to support manufacturing in Queensland as part of the government’s response to a Queensland Productivity Commission report into the manufacturing sector.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the Queensland government had accepted 16 of the Commission’s 17 recommendations in full, in part or in principle, and was already working to pave the way for a bigger and better manufacturing industry in Queensland.
“The Palaszczuk Government will create a new Manufacturing Ministerial Committee which will drive a renewed focus on manufacturing skills, regional Queensland, and reducing red tape for small, medium and large manufacturers,” Dick said.
“In response to the recommendations, we will also continue to deliver key Government programs that strengthen manufacturing.
“Through our $65 million Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund, $40 million Made in Queensland initiative and other programs, we are attracting more manufacturers, supporting businesses to innovate, expand and be more competitive, and encouraging companies to relocate or establish new projects here.
“We will also increase the level of transparent reporting on our industry attraction program, without putting Queensland or taxpayers at a disadvantage, as it is critical that these programs continue to win jobs for Queensland.”
Under the Advance Queensland Industry Attraction fund alone, nine projects have been approved that will generate more than 580 jobs and more than $260 million dollars in additional capital expenditure for Queensland in the next five years.
“Recent successes through this program include Oji Fibre Solutions building a new $72 million cardboard factory at Yatala that created 70 jobs – and Oji is planning to open a further three satellite facilities in regional Queensland creating up to a further 30 jobs,” Dick said.
“Queensland also will be home to Boeing’s largest autonomous systems development program outside of the United States, adding 131 jobs to Boeing’s Queensland workforce – and these are truly jobs of the future.
“The Queensland Government, in conjunction with the University of Queensland, also attracted global US food and animal safety company Neogen Corporation to establish a new animal genomics operation at the University’s Gatton campus.
Dick also mentioned that the $18 million Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant in Yarwun is taking agricultural and other wastes and turning it into biofuels, a project that could transition into a fully-fledged plant and create sustainable jobs and a new source of energy as part of Queensland’s expanding export-oriented biofuels sector.
“The Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning offers a range of support to businesses considering Queensland to establish their project, including business case development, site selection, assistance facilitating approvals and payroll tax incentives through the AQIAF.
“These projects create jobs, support regional growth, increase innovation and develop local supply chain capacity.”
Dick said many of the report’s recommendations aligned well with the ongoing work of the Queensland state government in backing manufacturing.
“We are confident our response to the Commission’s report will further support our manufacturing businesses to increase their productivity and international competitiveness,” he said.
Dick emphasised a strong manufacturing sector will help Queensland realise its vision for a diverse economy, underpinned by skilled, knowledge-based jobs.
“The Government’s Made in Queensland initiative is supporting manufacturers to adopt innovative processes and technologies, with 46 businesses helped to identify and implement productivity improvements and a second $20 million round of funding opened last week,” he said.
“And of course, Queensland’s defence manufacturing future is looking even stronger since March when Rheinmetall Defence Australia won the Australian Defence Force’s $5 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 contract to build new military vehicles in Ipswich.
“Queensland businesses are in the box seat to benefit from this economic game-changer, which will create 450 advanced manufacturing and engineering jobs for Queenslanders and pump $1 billion into the state’s economy in the first 10 years.”
Latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows the manufacturing industry accounted for about $19.2 billion of value added in 2016-17, or 6.2 per cent of the Queensland’s economy, with about 16,400 businesses.
The industry employed approximately 165,000 people or 6.7 per cent of the state’s work force, making it the sixth largest employing industry in Queensland. In 2016-17, the state had total manufacturing commodity export value of around $15.6 billion.