Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Manufacturing Hub's No Longer Big News

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Manufacturing Hub's No Longer Big News

Article excerpt

Aspire CQ

Warren Acutt

DO YOU remember the promised "Manufacturing Hub" for Rockhampton?

"The hubs will assist businesses be more productive and achieve best-practice standards". It was a state election promise made last year. $30million for Manufacturing Hubs in Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton.

I was excited with this promise, last year writing that the hub would be focussed on adopting and utilising new manufacturing technology and processes; cultivating an advanced manufacturing ecosystem.

An ecosystem that sends a strong signal that Rockhampton is at the forefront of innovation in manufacturing.

A game-changer for the region.

Surprise, we didn't hear much about it in the recent CQ coal-royalty-boosted state budget.

Not because it wasn't included, though you be hard pressed to find a mention of it in the State Government produced Delivering for Central Queensland document, but I believe the $30million is to be spread over four years to establish the hubs.

Assuming equal distribution between the three centres and four years, Rockhampton could be looking at $2.5million allocation to its manufacturing hub next financial year to "drive" its economy. Loose change compared to Brisbane's Cross-River Rail link project.

"Be patient, good things come to those who wait."

Really. Was it a politician that said that?

If manufacturing in Australia is dying because of high costs, is a manufacturing hub even a necessity for Rockhampton?

Australian manufacturing is actually making a comeback.

Ai Group's Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index May 2018 report indicated 20 consecutive months of growth. Australian manufacturing is even making more money from exports than it did 10 years ago.

How can an industry that doesn't have a local car manufacturer be making a comeback?

Diversification, innovation, disruption, R&D, quality reputation and export focus are some of the reasons.

Are local manufacturing managers able to master all these skills? Are these the type of skills that could be gained from a manufacturing hub created to achieve best practice standards? …

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