Making it in Queensland and water security key to state’s economic recovery

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

The Palaszczuk Government has outlined a clear and strong vision for the state’s manufacturing sector in today’s Queensland State Budget that includes a $40.5 million Making it in Queensland strategy, and strong support for water security and regional development.

Deputy Premier and Acting Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Acting Minister for Water Steven Miles said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to supporting regional Queenslanders to build back stronger in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are with our manufacturers, our farmers, and our regional communities for the long haul and will continue to nurture and develop strong partnerships,” Mr Miles said.

“Today’s Budget once again shows that our government is a government for all Queenslanders, regardless of where they live.”

Mr Miles said continuing to develop a strong local manufacturing sector was more important than ever – particularly to create and support jobs in regional Queensland.

“Queenslanders should be proud of how our state has managed the global COVID-19 pandemic and how at the same time we’ve ramped up our manufacturing capabilities right across the state,” Mr Miles said.

“Through our government’s support, Queensland’s manufacturing industry has remained resilient through this crisis.

“What we’ve outlined in today’s State Budget strengthens our commitment to Queensland manufacturers to help them grow their businesses and employ more locals, with a particular focus on regional Queensland.

“As promised at the election, we will continue to invest in local manufacturers to help them overcome economic challenges, lift productivity, and improve international competitiveness.”

These commitments include almost $1 billion of investment to build Queensland trains in Maryborough which will create 690 jobs and generate a 10-year pipeline of work, and a $40.5 million investment in a Making it in Queensland strategy to secure advanced manufacturing jobs in communities across the state.

Making it in Queensland includes:

  • $15.5 million – to further boost the hugely effective Made in Queensland grants program with a new focus on bringing critical manufacturing such as medical personal protective equipment back to Queensland
  • $16.5 million – to drive development of advanced manufacturing skills through creation of Manufacturing Skills Queensland, an independent not-for-profit industry body to support workers, employers, apprentices and trainees, and
  • $8.5 million – to establish new manufacturing hubs in Mackay and on the Gold Coast which will expand on the successful regional hub network already established in Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton and Gladstone.

Mr Miles said the Budget also provided important support for regional water users, through a range of cost reduction measures designed to cut costs for the agricultural sector.

“Water security and the cost of water are high priorities for the Palaszczuk Government,” he said.

“That’s why the Budget will invest $81.6 million to slash irrigation water bills across the state over the next three years, which builds on the $1.2 billion we’ve invested in water infrastructure since 2017 that has already supported around 2300 jobs.

“We’re doing this because we know that reducing irrigation water charges means reduced overall costs, more jobs and higher crop value.

“Again as we promised at the election, our government will deliver a 15 per cent cut in irrigation water charges for the 6,400 farmers who buy water from Queensland’s 35 state-owned irrigation schemes.

“This includes broad-scale crops like sugarcane.

“In addition, we will also reduce water charges by 50 per cent for fruit and vegetable growers, which in turn supports thousands of harvesting and picking jobs.

“The price drops start from 1 July next year and follow on from frozen irrigation water prices in 2020-21 as part of our ongoing COVID relief for business and industry. Government will also continue to absorb irrigator’s share of dam safety costs.”

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