Townsville primed for renewable energy training as Cabinet heads back to TAFE

Published Monday, 06 March, 2023 at 10:15 AM


Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Di Farmer

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water
The Honourable Glenn Butcher

Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart

Media assets.

  • Regional Cabinet meets at TAFE Queensland’s Bohle campus
  • Premier, Ministers and MPs turn the sod on major $17.2 million TAFE expansion of two new renewable and advanced manufacturing training and skills centres
  • 45 good jobs supported during construction
  • Construction expected to be complete in the second half of 2023

Construction has started on a $17.2 million expansion of TAFE Queensland’s Bohle campus which includes two new training and skills facilities which will allow TAFE to offer more than 20 new qualifications in renewable and advanced manufacturing industries.

The Premier, Ministers and local MPs helped turn the sod on the new Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Training Facility and an Advanced Manufacturing Skills Lab to mark the start of construction while in Townsville for Regional Cabinet.

The new $12.45 million Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Training Facility is a first for TAFE Queensland which will support the training needed for the Queensland hydrogen industry – anticipated to be worth about $1.7 billion a year in exports by 2030.

The facility’s design will target a 5 star “Greenstar Buildings” rating and incorporate sustainable design features that will see the building powered by renewable energy.

Skilling Queenslanders for the future is a key pillar of the Palaszczuk Government’s $62 billion Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, released last year.

The new $4.74 million Advanced Manufacturing Skills Lab will support high end manufacturing of tech like augmented reality, automation, and robotics.

These facilities guarantee Queensland will have the workforce supply chain as the state forges on to become a renewable energy and technology powerhouse.

The facilities are expected to be built by the second half of 2023 – supporting 45 good jobs during construction.

The new facilities will allow TAFE to offer more than 20 new Skill Sets, Certificate and Diploma qualifications.

Refurbishment activities will also be undertaken on an existing manufacturing skills lab at Bohle TAFE, which will be completed by the end of the year.

Quotes attributed to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk:

“Our government is committed to seeing Queensland be a global leader when it comes to renewable energy, and that means kickstarting training now.

“Townsville’s Bohle campus will be the first TAFE in the state to have the world class facilities we need to train our future workforce.

“There are so many opportunities for North Queensland as part of our landmark Energy and Jobs Plan, whether it’s in training, critical minerals, research, mining, exporting or manufacturing.

“As a government, we will continue to support projects like this that will support good jobs in Townsville.”

Quotes attributed to Minister for Resources and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart:

“I’m proud to be delivering on yet another election commitment for Townsville which is all about investing in our region’s future.

“Bohle TAFE trains more than 2,000 trade apprentices each year and this means we can offer those apprentices more opportunities in the emerging industries of tomorrow by unlocking more than 20 new qualifications for the region.”

Quotes attributed to Member for Mundingburra and North Queensland Hydrogen Champion Les Walker:

“There is huge potential in developing a green hydrogen industry in Townsville which is why investing in facilities like this is so important.

“This investment will enable the delivery of cutting-edge, industry-leading training in North Queensland to meet industry needs.”

Quotes attributed to Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper:

“Investing in our TAFEs is about backing our young people with the skills they need to help land good jobs and support Townsville and North Queensland’s future.

“It’s the Palaszczuk Government that will continue to invest and support our TAFE system because we know how important teaching skills and trades is for our future.

Quotes attributed to Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer:

“Importantly, both the new Renewable Training Facility and Advanced Manufacturing Skills Lab will be co-located with Townsville’s Regional Manufacturing Hub, ensuring synergy between training and businesses.

“The project will support the Palaszczuk Government initiatives for Industry 4.0 – the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will enable advanced manufacturers to connect big data and analytics with automation and robotics, improving cost, productivity, profitability and operations.”

Quotes attributed to Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick De Brenni:

“Regional Queensland is at the centre of this clean energy industrial revolution, unleashing 100,000 new jobs in hydrogen, renewables, manufacturing and critical minerals.

“In the not-too distant future, renewable hydrogen will be used domestically in sectors such as road transport and ammonia for fertiliser as well as to create industrial heat and power generation for mining and steel production.”

Quotes attributed to Minister for Manufacturing Glenn Butcher:

“Manufacturing already contributes $20 billion a year, to the state’s economy and we want to see that grow even further. I’ve always said if we can make it in Queensland, we should.

“Our Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap tells us we need a world class, skilled and ready workforce to grow our manufacturing industry, and that’s what the new Advanced Manufacturing Skills Lab will deliver.

“The co-location of the Regional Manufacturing Hub and TAFE is deliberate and provides an important connection between North Queensland manufacturers and our world-leading training facilities, which are about to get even better.”

Further information:

The projects are part of the $100 million Equipping TAFE for our Future program, which focuses on providing Queenslanders with access to modern infrastructure to support high-quality training.

Queensland’s Hydrogen Industry Workforce Development Roadmap 2022-2032 launched in July 2022 highlights the Queensland Government’s commitment to the growth of the sector.

It outlines an investment of over $56 million in training infrastructure which includes the $12.45 million TAFE Queensland Townsville Trade Training Centre, the $20 million investment in the Hydrogen Centre of Excellence at the Plumbing Industry Action Centre’s (PICAC) Queensland Apprenticeship Centre (QAC) at Beenleigh, $17 million for the Pinkenba Renewable Energy Training Facility, and $2 million to upgrade training facilities at the Gladstone State High School.

Since 2017, the Queensland Government has invested almost $280 million in building new and upgrading existing training facilities across the state, including around $40 million invested in the North Queensland region.

The new projects on the TAFE Queensland Townsville Trade Training Centre align with the Good people. Good jobs. Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032.


Media contact:

Nicola Field (Minister Farmer’s office) – 0497 940 285