Labor’s Advance Queensland initiative will become a more than half-billion-dollar investment in the state’s future under a re-elected Palaszczuk Government.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said a re-elected Labor Government will inject an additional $93 million into the existing $420 million whole-of-government Advance Queensland initiative, generating economic growth and creating the jobs of the future.
Ms Palaszczuk’s funding announcements comes on top of new figures revealing the number of jobs being driven by Advance Queensland has nearly doubled in just the past quarter.
“Three years ago, Tim Nicholls sacked 14,000 government workers under the LNP’s cut, sack and sell mantra,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“In stark contrast, 134,300 jobs have been created under my government since January 2015.
“I’m proud of the role the whole-of-government Advance Queensland initiative is playing by backing our entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators.
“New figures to September 30 show my government has invested $250 million and backed more than 2,000 innovators – and their projects are driving 9,426 jobs across the state.
“That’s an incredible 4,605 extra jobs being supported – or an almost 100 per cent increase - on figures to June 30.
“And 43 per cent of these jobs being supported (4,047) are being attributed to regionally-based recipients.
“Additionally, significant co-investment has also been achieved since Advance Queensland launched just over two years ago, with the new figures showing $163 million has been leveraged from partners.
“We have come a long way in three years through our Advance Queensland initiative, but we have more to do to ensure Queenslanders are equipped to embrace the challenges of the future.”
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said the additional $93 million investment over four years – which includes an injection of $20 million into the Industry Attraction Fund – will support new initiatives under Advance Queensland’s next phase.
Ms Enoch said these included:
She said funding would also be allocated to continue successful programs such as Ignite Ideas, Research Fellowships and the Office of the Chief Entrepreneur.
“Advance Queensland is Labor’s strategic, long-term investment in Queensland’s future,” Ms Enoch said.
“The new funding will help us increase momentum during our second term and ensure workers and businesses in our state are given every opportunity to succeed.
“Advance Queensland is not only having an economic benefit – but is making life better for many Queenslanders.
“This funding is for research that transforms lives – like tackling cancer and heart disease – and helps make our industries stronger, such as more efficient sugar mills and improving access to bauxite reserves.
“We are funding vital new research to deliver greater insight into the health of our iconic Great Barrier Reef.
“And we are preparing our kids for the future – increasing numbers studying critical subjects in maths and science, as well as opening up the possibility of starting their own business.”
Ms Enoch said she is constantly impressed with the quality of new ideas, especially in regional Queensland.
“In sectors such as mining and agriculture, we are seeing advancements in drone technology and robotics that are helping to capture valuable data or carry out high-risk tasks in safer and quicker ways,” she said.
“When you consider global population growth estimates over the next 20 years, greater efficiency in agriculture – a sector in which Queensland already has a massive competitive advantage – will not just be an economic imperative, but also a humanitarian one.
“The kinds of investments we are making in ag-tech have the potential to deliver Queensland farmers greater crop yields through the use of big data and innovative farming techniques.
“We’re building on our success by mixing technology in traditional industries with the talent of our people.
“While everyone might be talking about innovation, in Queensland - Labor is supporting great ideas and helping turn those ideas into action to help position our state for a bright and prosperous future,” Ms Enoch said.
Key new components of Advance Queensland include:
A future Labor Government will also: