The sod is turned on Gladstone's Advanced Manufacturing hub
The sod is turned on Gladstone's Advanced Manufacturing hub

PM and CQUni launch Gladstone’s manufacturing future

Work has begun on a $13.5M School of Advanced Manufacturing at Gladstone’s CQUni Marina campus.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison joined Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd and CQUniversity vice-chancellor and president Professor Nick Klomp to turn the sod on the project that seeks to “turbocharge” manufacturing capability in the region.

The Gladstone school will be complemented by a School of Mining at CQUniversity’s Rockhampton North campus, with work set to commence on that site in the coming weeks.

Mr O’Dowd said the construction of both schools would provide a major economic boost to the region with hundreds of jobs to be created during the construction of both projects.

He said the combined projects would create an estimated 311 local jobs in Central Queensland, including 114 in Gladstone, and inject millions of dollars into the local economy.”

“This is a major win for Gladstone, Rockhampton and the broader Central Queensland region, with both Schools to deliver world class facilities, resources, and technology to support the education of the workforces of tomorrow,” he said.

The sod is turned on Gladstone's Advanced Manufacturing hub
The sod is turned on Gladstone's Advanced Manufacturing hub

Professor Klomp said mining remained a critical industry for Central Queensland, while advanced manufacturing was a clear growth opportunity for the region’s future, with Gladstone positioned front and centre to take advantage of this.

“By developing this facility, we are actively building our capacity to service industry, locally, in areas such as advanced instrumentation and process manufacturing training, advanced welding and manufacturing, and the emerging hydrogen industry,” he said.

Professor Klomp also explained the development of the new facilities was a direct result of CQUniversity’s close engagement with community and industry.

“Through our work with industry and community, we developed a deep understanding of the region’s needs when it came to industry development, skills training and regional growth, and using this knowledge we worked with Government to outline these needs and secure the required funding,” he said.

He cited other proposed regional developments such as a Cairns CBD campus and a new hydrogen and renewable energy precinct in Gladstone.

In total the the government has committed $30 million towards construction of both schools with CQUniversity to contribute an additional $7 million.

Both the Gladstone and Rockhampton facilities will be constructed by  FDC Construction and Fitout (QLD) Pty Ltd.

The Gladstone School of Advanced Manufacturing is expected to be completed and operational by February 2022.