Manufacturers in the greater Cairns region can tap into $4.5 million in funding through the Palaszczuk Government’s $13.5 million Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program.
The investment aims to help build advanced manufacturing capability in Queensland through technology adoption, skills and training and business development.
Grants between $5000 and $1 million are available, with the funds administered through the Cairns Manufacturing Hub, a state industry initiative to create jobs and maximise local manufacturing strengths like marine, aviation and food production.
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the value of local manufacturing couldn’t be underestimated.
“The Cairns manufacturing sector contributed almost $790 million to the Queensland economy in 2017-18, and as of December last year employed 6400 people. It’s a vital sector for the Far North,” Mr Healy said.
Member for Barron River Craig Crawford called manufacturing “one of our region’s most important sectors”.
“We want to ensure manufacturing in the north continues to thrive. That’s what this program is all about,” Mr Crawford said.
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the grants would help grow this important sector further.
“It will create more manufacturing jobs in our region, directly and along the supply chain. All our manufacturers should look into these grants,” Ms Lui said.
Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the program will help Cairns manufacturers employ more locals, increase productivity and compete on a global scale.
“This is an opportunity for our manufacturers to take their operations to the next level, whether that’s introducing new technology into their operations, improving production efficiencies, or upskilling staff,” Mr Pitt said.
Minister for Manufacturing Cameron Dick said the grants were part of a $30 million election commitment from the Palaszczuk Government to transform Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton into manufacturing hubs for regional Queensland.
“We promised to connect our regional manufacturers with world-leading technologies and processes, and to create more jobs in our regions, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Mr Dick said.
Successful applicants can also use grant funding to access services offered through Australia’s first advanced robotics hub for manufacturing, which is on track to open in the first half of 2020.
Funding is provided on a co-contribution basis, with the state covering 75 per cent of capital expenditure for grants between $5000 and $500,0000, and a further 50 per cent for grants up to $1 million.
To apply for the Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program head to qld.gov.au/manufacturinghubsgrants, or visit the Cairns Manufacturing Hub at the local TAFE Queensland campus.
The Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program is an initiative through the Queensland Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.