Boeing partnership backs Queensland as global aerospace powerhouse

Published Friday, 02 March, 2018 at 10:30 AM


Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
The Honourable Kate Jones

Queensland will further consolidate its place as a global leader in the aerospace industry under a ground-breaking new partnership with Boeing.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland will become home to Boeing’s largest autonomous systems development program outside of the United States

“There could be no more fitting way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Boeing’s partnership with Queensland this year than today’s announcement,” the Premier said.

“The 131 jobs that will come with this autonomous vehicles program will grow Boeing’s Queensland workforce– and these are truly jobs of the future.

“Boeing has a proven track record of working with innovative Queensland businesses, a relationship that supports the growth of highly-skilled jobs under this new program.

“Partnerships like this are only possible because of my government’s determination to foster new and highly skilled industries in Queensland - - it’s why we have our $513 million Advance Queensland Initiative, and why last year we launched our Drone Strategy.”

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said today’s announcement marks the ninth project attracted to Queensland through the $65 million Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund.

“The Queensland Government’s support through the Industry Attraction Fund was integral to Boeing’s decision to choose our state for the growing billion-dollar autonomous vehicles market,” Mr Dick said.

“This project will directly benefit Queensland small to medium enterprises that service the aerospace, advanced manufacturing, defence, and resources technology and services sectors.”

Minister for Innovation Kate Jones said the Palaszczuk Government will continue to invest in innovation and build global partnerships to create jobs for Queenslanders.

“Partnerships like this are key to growing and diversifying Queensland’s economy for the future,” Ms Jones said.

“Today’s announcement will put Queensland’s aerospace industry on the map and will put Queensland proponents and suppliers in the box seat to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the autonomous systems industry, especially as 30 per cent of Australia’s drone business is already based here.”

Nine AQIAF projects will generate more than 580 jobs and more than $260 million dollars in capital expenditure for Queensland in the next five years.

In conjunction with AQIAF, the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning offers a range of support to businesses considering Queensland to establish their project, including business case development, site selection, assistance facilitating approvals and payroll tax incentives.

Over the next three years, Boeing will develop new autonomous systems capability in Queensland to increase the independent operation of air and sea vehicles, creating an exportable product for the global market.

“Boeing is a recognised market leader for manned and unmanned technology innovation and will continue to pioneer the safe integration of autonomy for defence and commercial applications,” Mr Dick said.

“By employing more people in specialist roles including software and systems engineers, this project will expand Queenslanders’ specialist and technical expertise and intellectual labour capacity in autonomous systems.

“These jobs are on top of Boeing’s 1,500-strong Queensland workforce currently based at Townsville, Brisbane, Amberley and Oakey.

“Boeing’s expanded autonomy operations will leverage Queensland’s existing industry and unique geographical attributes to form a capability like no other in the world.”

Mr Dick said the project aligned with the Advance Queensland agenda of innovation-led economic growth and the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s vision of Queensland to be a world leader in drone technology and application.

“The Queensland Government has identified autonomous vehicles, including Unmanned Aerial Systems, as a key enabling technology platform and growth opportunity and is supporting industry development through existing initiatives and by developing a Queensland Drones Strategy,” Mr Dick said.

“The project directly complements the recently secured Queensland headquarters for Defence’s first national Cooperative Research Centre for Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS DCRC), which will focus on drones, robotics and artificial intelligence.

 “The Queensland Government is keen to continue to see industry leverage our innovation funding programs to grow Queensland capability and jobs.”

Shane Arnott, Director of Boeing’s Phantom Works International business in Australia said the Queensland Government’s clear vision to invest in cutting-edge industries is backed by a progressive air space regulator.

“Along with the state’s innovation culture and a talented network of local suppliers – creating an outstanding environment to innovate and experiment with autonomous vehicles and the systems and sensors that drive them.

“Boeing will work with small-to-medium sized Queensland businesses to develop transformative ‘brain-on-board’ technology.

“Our program will complement the work undertaken by the TAS DCRC, taking research outcomes and developing them into exportable commercial products for the global autonomous market,” said Arnott.

The Queensland Government’s first Advance Queensland partnership with Boeing has proven to be a winning formula.

The broad area UAS situational awareness system developed by Boeing in partnership with Queensland businesses was exported to the United States in late 2017 and successfully completed its first flight test in Mississippi in January 2018.

More details about the Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund, visit

Media contact: Geoff Breusch      0417 272 875