Jobs and growth to flow from Queensland manufacturing first

JOINT STATEMENT

An essential high-tech water treatment product will soon be manufactured in Queensland for the first time through a partnership between a Townsville-based manufacturer and the Palaszczuk Government.

Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick said Townsville industrial chemical producer Cleveland Bay Chemical Company (CBCC) will manufacture the reagent with support from the government’s $50 million Essential Goods and Supply Chain Program, removing Queensland’s reliance on products from interstate and overseas.

“A key element of Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan is the strengthening of our manufacturing capability,” the Treasurer said.

“COVID-19 has taught us the importance of sovereign manufacturing capability.

“It’s about making more things in Queensland for Queenslanders by Queenslanders.

“That’s why our government is backing Cleveland Bay Chemical Company so they can begin manufacturing aluminium chlorohydrate (ACH) in Townsville.

“This product is best practice when it comes to the treatment of drinking water and wastewater, and now we’re going to produce it in Queensland,” he said.

“Currently we have to import ACH from overseas or interstate, but that won’t be the case for much longer.

“With support from our Essential Goods and Supply Chain Program, CBCC will upgrade their facility and infrastructure to manufacture ACH.

“This growth will create 10 new jobs during construction and two additional operational jobs at CBCC’s Townsville facility.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Steven Miles said the benefits of this investment go even further than CBCC as well.

“Townsville steel fabricators NEM Group will likely have to put on new staff to keep up with the maintenance needs of this facility upgrade,” Mr Miles said.

“CBCC are also going to make ACH using materials sourced entirely from Queensland, which will prove a boost to other manufacturers along the supply chain.”

CBCC’s upgraded plant is expected to be commissioned in 2022, with new equipment and process technology giving the company the ability to produce ACH in Townsville.

Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said the pandemic has driven home the value and absolute critical need of manufacturing things locally.

“Bringing more manufacturing work to Queensland, especially regional areas like Townsville, is good for workers, for businesses, and the local economy,” Mr Walker said.

“Having these job opportunities is vital if we want to keep talent in our city and state, so it’s fantastic our government has been able to partner with CBCC, allowing them to expand and grow locally.”

CBCC owner and Director Geoff Whebell said the upgraded plant would support Queensland market demand for ACH, replace the need for foreign imports and add value to locally sourced raw materials.

“The ACH will be manufactured using Queensland materials, including aluminium from Gladstone, and provided to industries and councils for water and wastewater treatment,” Mr Whebell said.

“This will significantly expand our offer of water treatment products and allow us to explore new market opportunities.”

In Townsville for the 2021-22 Queensland Budget Roadshow, Mr Dick said the Palaszczuk Government is focused on growing more jobs in north Queensland through a range of major projects and initiatives.

“Our Townsville Budget Regional Action Plan, released with last week’s budget as part of our COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, outlines the crucial investments our government is making in infrastructure, frontline services, health, education, employment and the environment,” he said.

“We’ve allocated billions for the region this year to grow jobs and industry, and to help businesses as they continue to navigate the impacts of COVID-19.

“The budget roadshow that’s underway now allows our government to talk directly with Queenslanders about what’s in the budget for them, their community, and how they’ll benefit from the investments we’re making.

“We’ve got our unemployment rate down to 5.4 per cent, its lowest level in almost a decade, and the Townsville Regional Action Plan is another integral piece of our strategy to keep Queensland moving forward.”

Key investments of the Townsville Regional Action Plan include:

  • $913 million for productivity-enhancing infrastructure and capital works supporting around 3200 jobs, including:
    • $65.3 million for Port of Townsville’s channel capacity upgrade project
    • $65 million for the Townsville Ring Road to duplicate a section of the Townsville Ring Road to four lanes
    • $40.1 million to construct bridges and upgrade intersections on the Bruce Highway at Giru between Horseshoe Lagoon and Palm Creek
  • $1.1 billion for Townsville Hospital and Health Services, including:
    • $17.8 million for construction projects to improve facilities at the Townsville University Hospital site, including the expansion of the outpatients department
  • $37.3 million to maintain, improve and upgrade schools in the Townsville region, including:
    • $7.9 million to construct a new building for additional learning spaces and deliver a new hall facility at Townsville Community Learning Centre
    • $3.8 million to upgrade the administration building and provide new learning spaces at Bwgcolman Community School
    • $1.7 million for a new advanced manufacturing skills lab at Bohle TAFE
  • $4 million for the Townsville Sailing Club to purchase the land it currently occupies and support initial development plans for a water sports hub at the Mariners Drive site

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the Palaszczuk Government will also keep investing in Townsville’s ongoing rebuild from natural disasters, with $43 million in this year’s budget for disaster recovery and reconstruction.

“Our community has been through its share of adversity, but you won’t find a more resilient group of people than north Queenslanders,” Mr Harper said.

“We’re a region with incredible spirit – you saw that during Origin a few weeks ago – and our government will continue fighting for the people of Townsville, helping us to rebuild stronger than ever.”

Mr Dick said an estimated 300 Townsville employers would benefit from the higher payroll tax threshold in 2021-22, while the $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund would unlock employment opportunities across a range of industries.

The region will also see $35.7 million invested into community infrastructure through the government’s longstanding Works for Queensland program, with the state partnering with north Queensland councils on 59 local improvement projects.

To learn more about the 2021-22 Queensland Budget, please visit budget.qld.gov.au.

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