Building boom: Millions for CQ manufacturers

MILLIONS of dollars are up for grabs for Central Queensland manufacturers.

The State Government has announced $4.5 million in funding available for Central Queensland from the $13.5 million Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program.

Grants between $5000 and $1 million are available, with the funds administered through the Rockhampton Manufacturing Hub, a state industry initiative to create jobs and maximise local manufacturing strengths like rail and metal production.

Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke said the program would help the region's manufacturers create more local jobs and extend their reach to new markets.

"This funding will give our manufacturers a big leg up when it comes to evolving their operations and employing more people," Mr O'Rourke said.

"The grants can be used to purchase cutting-edge equipment, implement more efficient processes, and train staff."

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said manufacturing was a vital sector for the region.

"There is a very strong manufacturing sector here in Central Queensland that, in 2017-18, contributed more than $1 billion to our state's economy, and as of December last year employed 5100 people locally," Ms Lauga said.

"We want to ensure manufacturing in Central Queensland continues to thrive.

"That's what this program is all about."

Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher said the wide range of grants available meant the program could benefit any manufacturing business, whether they were big or small.

Manufacturing Minister Cameron Dick said the grants were part of a $30 million ­election commitment from the State Government to ­transform Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns 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.

Manufacturing Hub Grants are aimed to help build ­advanced manufacturing ­capability in Queensland through technology adoption, skills and training and business development.

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.

View the Rockhampton/Central Queensland funding catchment.

To apply for the Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program head to qld.gov.au/manufacturinghubsgrants, or phone the Rockhampton Manufacturing Hub on 4924 2914 for more information.

The Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program is an initiative through the Queensland Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.