M'boro jobs in windfall for $1 billion Downer Rail deal
WHAT WE KNOW
- Up to 60 new jobs will be created
- There will be new contracts
- Grants for the 10-year Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap to be rolled out
UP to 60 new jobs and $1 billion worth of new contracts are slated for Maryborough following the launch of the State Government's $7.6 million Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap yesterday.
Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham met with industry leaders from members of the Industry and Manufacturing Group on Tuesday to promote the manufactuing sector of Queensland - with Maryborough's Downer Rail manufacturing group in the spotlight.
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Dr Lynham said the new waterjet cutter at Downer Rail, along with the benefits of the government's 10-year manufacturing program, helped to secure three new contracts worth almost $1 billion and would shore up almost 60 new jobs.
"You can't rest on your laurels; we've got a $20 billion industry, and you've got to try and make it better," he said.
"The manufacturing sector is the firth biggest contributor to the state's economy and employed more than 169,000 workers in Queensland in the December quarter period."
Dr Lynham confirmed that grants for the 10-year Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap will be rolled out through the regions, with more discussions on the allocations planned in March.
With the Wide Bay unemployment rate at 9.7% in December 2016, Dr Lynham stated the manufacturing program would help encourage jobs in the region.
"Queensland's economy has forever rested on the agricultural and resources sector...a lot of those areas are becoming less labour-intensive, so we have to diversify our economy," he said.
"By diversifying our economy into advanced manufacturing...the cycles are flattened; you'll be able to have that steady stream of employment.
"That's what I'm tyring to do in Maryborough and other regions; suggest that this diversified economy into technology doesn't have to be in south-east Queensland. We have a vast regional economy we can tap into and grow."
Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said he thought it was great to see a company expand the local workforce and look to the future.
"From day one of being elected, I have stated that manufacturing is vital for our electorate and have fought hard with the local workers and management to secure contracts," he said.