Townsville has been highlighted as a potential manufacturing hub, particularly for solar panels and renewable energy projects.
At a recent Business Advisory Council meeting of the Palaszczuk government, council member Neil O’Sullivan from Noja Power Switchgear brought up the idea.
“Manufacturing and in particular advancement in manufacturing… perhaps that should be looked at in Townsville,” he told the Townsville Bulletin.
“You’re already talking about attracting a battery factory here and combining that with advanced manufacturing… [Townsville] could become a manufacturing hub.”
It was suggested that solar panels could be produced, considering there are plans to develop a number of solar farms in North Queensland. There is also a proposal to build a Lithium-ion Battery Gigafactory in the city, suggesting manufacturing of components for renewables could be Townsville’s niche.
According to Townsville MP Scott Stewart, the city is in a good position to produce solar panels and a new manufacturing industry could help diversify the city’s economy. Before this can happen however, the region needs a reliable power and water source, according to Stewart.
“We have to make sure we get power and water sorted and we are certainly doing that with the power,” he told the Townsville Bulletin.
Townsville Chamber of Commerce president Troy Popham agreed that water security and affordable power would need to be sorted out first. However, he stated that with lower electricity prices, water access, a land bank, and the liveability of Townsville, the city could certainly attract investors.