A new State Government inquiry will give Central Queensland’s agricultural sector a say on the potential for expanding the state’s food production and processing sector while creating new jobs.The inquiry will be conducted by the Queensland Productivity Commission, and will look at ways to build on Queensland’s traditional manufacturing base, including our agricultural sector.
The inquiry is expected to be completed by August next year and will focus on opportunities to maximise advantages, address weaknesses and take advantage of emerging domestic and international opportunities, including a focus on employment and exports.
Agriculture and food production are some of CQ’s traditional strengths and the QPC inquiry will help identify and understand the opportunities that may exist that are so far untapped.
Food manufacturing is one sector that State Government believe new opportunities are likely to open up to meet the rising demands from the growing middle classes in Asian markets.
The Asian market already has a taste for our unique, clean, and safe food products ,including beef and other products from Central Queensland producers.
When it comes to food manufacturing individuals in the region may have ideas for new products or processes that we haven’t even considered yet, but which may meet with strong demand from Asian and other export markets. The inquiry will help identify possibilities for tapping ideas that could lead to new food-manufacturing products and therefore create more jobs.
Manufacturing was estimated to have contributed $20.3 billion to the Queensland economy in 2014–15 and accounted for $15.9 billion in international exports.
It was also a significant contributor to employment, as well as regional and economic growth and directly employed around 170,000 people in Queensland in the December quarter 2015.