"In particular, these hubs are a golden opportunity for these cities to become renowned areas of expertise and globally-significant incubators for the skills needed in the new economy.
"It is important for Queensland's regional economies to play to their strengths and aim to build world-class manufacturing facilities and skills.
"Off the back of this, these important regional centres will have the opportunity to attract talent and investment and create quality local jobs in exciting, advanced manufacturing industries.
"There is often a perception that manufacturing is dying in Australia. This is far from the truth. In Queensland alone there are more than 16,000 manufacturing companies and the growth of advanced manufacturing is playing to the State's strengths.
"The announcement by State Development Minister Cameron Dick that $30 million will be spent in Townsville, Rockhampton and Cairns over three years to sharpen manufacturing in each city, is welcome.
"The challenge will be to sustain the program beyond the three years if Government funding does not continue. This may require the 'hubs' to quickly move to a self-funding model, requiring a very rapid evolution of a value proposition and unequivocal value for local industry.
"The decision to concentrate on some specific industries in each city was based on extensive local feedback.
"This approach will most likely give the hubs their best chance of success, while also lifting the total quality of manufacturing locally and creating a cluster of talent and investment.
"The hubs should be developed based on ambitious aspirations for regional economies and a belief that regional areas can be leaders in the new age of industry evolution," Mr Rodgers said.
For further comment: Shane Rodgers – 0423 021 268