Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd, Gladstone Ports Corporation Chair Peter Corones and acting CEO Craig Walker discuss the port's 50 year plan.
Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd, Gladstone Ports Corporation Chair Peter Corones and acting CEO Craig Walker discuss the port's 50 year plan.

Gladstone could be resources and industry epicentre

GLADSTONE could be an Australian epicentre of manufacturing and industry according to Federal Minister for Resources Keith Pitt, who toured the region yesterday with Flynn MP Ken O’Dowd.

Mr Pitt, also the Minister for Water and Northern Australia said he saw great promise in the resources, manufacturing and port of the city to deliver a massive economic and jobs boost.

“As we work our way out of the coronavirus pandemic and get the focus back on the economy, I think every single job will be important,” he said.

“I think Gladstone and regional Australia can lead the way.

“I have seen a real shift, even in recent weeks, from organisations looking to redevelop or reinsure their manufacturing capability and supply.

“We are looking at a gas led recovery and a manufacturing increase, and Gladstone is already a manufacturing hub so I think the world’s your oyster.”

During his time in the region, Mr Pitt said he visited the Gladstone Ports Corporation, where he met with chairman Peter Corones and acting CEO Craig Walker.

“We went through their 50 year plan and what potential there might be for the port of Gladstone,” he said.

“Ken O’Dowd has been lobbying me vigorously around inland rail and its connection to the Gladstone region.

“I certainly think this is the way forward, as we should be wanting to do more exports not less, and to do that we need port expansion.”

Minister Keith Pitt, Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd and Ausproof's Aston Marks at their Gladstone manufacturing facility. The company produces and exports high voltage connectors to mining companies globally.
Minister Keith Pitt, Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd and Ausproof's Aston Marks at their Gladstone manufacturing facility. The company produces and exports high voltage connectors to mining companies globally.

One of the many Gladstone industry success stories, Mr Pitt said, was Ausproof.

“I have just been into Ausproof which I think is one of your quiet success stories here in Gladstone,” he said.

“These guys actually manufacture, sell and distribute high voltage cable connectors to the mining industry and are seeing great growth.

“It’s quite incredible, their competitors are international, and they are exporting from Gladstone, right around the world for what is a very specialised and niche industry.

“And here it is in a big shed, right in the middle of Gladstone.”

Before expansions can progress rapidly the COVID-19 pandemic must be controlled, Mr Pitt said.

“We have been looking closely at what is happening and where and we have got very serious concerns around Victoria,” he said.

“It is a big country and obviously regional Australia has a lot lower risk than many other locations to begin moving forward.”