Reece Gough from Capricorn Sandstone has just installed a new blocksaw at the quarry. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Reece Gough from Capricorn Sandstone has just installed a new blocksaw at the quarry. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

CQ the state’s manufacturing powerhouse

CENTRAL Queensland has emerged as the powerhouse of Queensland's regional manufacturing, contributing more than $1 billion in 2017-18 to the state's economy.

In terms of economic activity, the Fitzroy region is the leading regional centre for manufacturing outside the southeast with more than 500 manufacturing businesses employing 6000 people.

Capricorn Sandstone Quarries at Stanwell is one of those CQ businesses expanding production as it advances its manufacturing practices.

CSQ chief executive Reece Gough said from their base in regional Queensland, new markets around the world were being secured for sandstone, particularly in construction and landscaping products.

"We'll become more globally competitive due to our excellent raw product and our advanced processing facilities," Mr Gough said.

He said a Queensland Government grant would help to install advanced splitting and veneer cutting equipment to further increase capabilities and diversify product range.

Another CQ success story is Rockhampton-based Dobinsons Spring & Suspension which now exports to over 50 countries worldwide.

CQ manufacturers are set for further jobs growth as a string of major infrastructure and mining projects come on board in the next few years.

The Fitzroy region includes Rockhampton, Gladstone, Biloela and Central Highlands.

The regions largest manufacturing employers include Teys, Australia, JBS, SMW Group, Holcim Australia, Orica, QAL , Boyne Smelter and Sibelco.

Other regions, including Wide Bay, Darling Downs, North Queensland and Far North Queensland had more manufacturing businesses and employed more people than Fitzroy, but the total value of products was less.

Minister Cameron Dick said manufacturing directly contributed about $20 billion annually to the Queensland economy and employed around 170,000 people.