The Palaszczuk Government has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Smart Precinct NQ to establish the $5 million Defence Supply Chain Hub in an innovative new industry precinct in the Townsville CBD.
Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the hub, a 2017 election commitment, will be located in the Smart Precinct North Queensland in Palmer Street, South Townsville, and will operate as a one-stop-shop for advice and expertise on regional supply chain logistics as well as maintenance.
“Queensland’s defence industries employ more than 6500 people and generated an estimated $6.3 billion in revenue in 2015-16,” Mr Dick said.
“Townsville is a garrison city with over 15,000 defence personnel and four major defence establishments and is an ideal location for a defence industries hub, supporting local businesses to create regional employment opportunities in the defence and aerospace sectors.”
Mr Dick said two staff had already been appointed to the Defence Hub, to work with businesses and defence industry stakeholders to grow and develop North Queensland businesses to become Defence-ready.
“The hubs will work with businesses to develop their understanding of the defence market, enabling the development of capability and supply chains,” he said.
“Through consultation with Townsville businesses, we have determined the key focus for the region and the services that local industry needs.
“The Townsville Hub will focus on research and development, training and simulated services, aerospace platform deep maintenance, vehicle and maritime sustainment and logistics and garrison support.
“Accordingly, the Defence Hub will focus on industry growth in these key regional strengths, many of which are operationally critical to, and a sovereign capability for, the Australian Defence Force.
“Our focus is to support our defence industry to be agile, resilient and responsive to the Australian Defence Force capability requirements in a rapidly changing global environment.”
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the defence hub would be an exciting anchor tenant for North Queensland’s new Smart Precinct.
“The Smart Precinct’s repurposing of the Transit Centre will lead to a revitalisation of the building with a variety of other organisations and businesses to follow the move into the precinct,” Ms Hill said
“The precinct is a collaborative project that includes Townsville City Council, Burdekin Shire Council, Hinchinbrook Shire Council, James Cook University, CQUniversity, DEVeloper NQ, Coder Dojo and now the Defence Hub.
“The defence industries sector is growing quickly and establishing a national and international reputation for excellence, so the hub is going to tap into that rapid growth.
“We are pleased to partner with the Palaszczuk Government to deliver this hub which will act as a catalyst for more jobs in advanced manufacturing.”
Mr Dick said it also proposed that the Townsville Manufacturing hub, which is due to open soon, will also have a demonstration space in the Smart precinct, to showcase technologies, processes and practices to regional manufacturers.
“The regional hubs are part of the government’s commitment to supporting and growing Queensland’s manufacturing industry, which also includes practical initiatives such as Made in Queensland, Industry 4.0, Design in Manufacturing, Women in Manufacturing and the Hackerspace programs,” he said.
“To increase the capability of local manufacturers to undertake defence work, the Townsville Manufacturing Hub will have strategic links and work closely with the Townsville Defence Hub, once it’s established.”
The Townsville defence hub is a key action of the Queensland Government’s Defence Industries 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.