Manufacturing News

Ten-year economic transition plan for Gladstone released

Manufacturing News

A new report launched by the Gladstone Regional Council on Wednesday cites the role that strengthening its “manufacturing powerhouse” will play in moving its economy moves away from fossil fuels.

Gladstone Region Economic Transition Roadmap 2022-2032 was prepared with consultancy The Next Economy, gathered input from 220 local stakeholders over two years, and was supported by a $46,000 federal grant. 

The ten-year roadmap saw the region “in prime position to respond to once-in-a-generation changes in the energy sector” according to a joint statement from federal infrastructure minister Catherine King, GRC and The Next Economy.

Manufacturing represents 14.4 per cent of Gladstone’s jobs, 13 per cent of value-add and 38 per cent of exports.

Opportunities were identified in the report in renewable energy generation components, green chemicals, and general manufacturing.

Relevant projects planned or under construction include Fortescue Future Industries’ $114 million hydrogen electrolyser factory, currently under construction, the H2-Hub Gladstone green ammonia project, and the Alpha HPA high-purity alumina plant.

In establishing a new Gladstone site earlier this year, electrical engineering business Ampcontrol said: “Gladstone is a region of great opportunity, a region that like Ampcontrol is on an upward trajectory of expansion and growth.”

On manufacturing and skills development, the roadmap advises leveraging the skills built up through the region’s history as an industrial base to adjust to technological and environmental transitions, while developing new ones.

It cited removing caps on federally-funded places at Central Queensland University, which stand in the way of meeting demand.

“Removing the caps will enable CQU to provide more courses in the region, which not only builds the region’s skill base but would also slow youth migration to the capital cities and support local population growth,” it said.   

Strategic priorities were given as:

  • Gladstone Heavy Vehicle Transport Corridor   
  • Inland Rail Extension to the Port of Gladstone  
  • Boyne Tannum Aquatic Recreation Centre (BTARC)  
  • Harvey Road Sports and Events Precinct 
  • Establishing the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Base North – Port of Gladstone  
  • Regional Water Supply and Wastewater Infrastructure  
  • Ageing in Place Strategy  
  • Renewable Energy and the Transitioning Economy 
  • Manufacturing and Skills Development 

Picture: Orica’s Yarwun Manufacturing Facility (credit Orica)


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