CQ to cash in on $1.3b minerals, manufacturing boom
Central Queensland is poised to cash in on a minerals and manufacturing boom set to deliver thousands of jobs and great economic prosperity to the region.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday unveiled the Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing Roadmap, a 10-year plan to supply and manufacture for cutting-edge industries including batteries, solar panels and wind turbines.
The plan opens up $1.3 billion in Federal Government funding to help manufacturers scale-up production, commercialise products and tap into global supply chains.
"Our Modern Manufacturing Initiative will help position Australia as not just a global leader in the resources sector but also in the manufacturing of the technology used, as well as turning the raw materials into value-added products," the Prime Minister said.
"Today's funding will help unlock investment from industry to help build manufacturing capability and competitiveness in Australia's resources sector while taking advantage of a significant global growth sector.
"This investment and this Road map will support jobs across Australia, particularly in our resource rich regions like the Hunter, Western Australia and Central Queensland."
Resources, Water and Northern Australia Minister Keith Pitt said it also complemented the government's critical minerals strategy.
"The government is committed to bringing on new supplies of critical minerals and developing this emerging sector to meet growing global demand," he said.
"Developing our critical minerals processing capability will ensure Australian companies can move down the value chain, getting greater value out of the products they produce."
The plan has also received support from the Climate Council which states the project can strengthen our economy while tackling climate change.
"Boosting our processing capability of rare earth and other critical minerals can add value to our economy and support growth in our manufacturing sector," said Climate Council spokeswoman and economist Nicki Hutley.
"Processing minerals domestically could give Australian manufacturers a major competitive advantage in manufacturing renewable energy technologies, batteries, and electric vehicle parts.
"It could also drive much-needed jobs transition in mining regions like the Hunter Valley in NSW, Central Queensland and Western Australia.
"These areas already have the natural resources and significant skills and infrastructure, but will need additional investment."
But, Ms Hutley warned there must be some changes from the government's current trajectory.
"But the government's support for a gas-led recovery instead of a plan to power Australia with clean, affordable renewable energy is a roadblock to its success," she said.