Cross River Rail Minister Kate Jones. Picture: Tertius Pickard
Cross River Rail Minister Kate Jones. Picture: Tertius Pickard

Tenders open for multi-million dollar agtech, logistics hub

TENDERS are now open to establish a new, multimillion-dollar agtech and logistics hub in Toowoomba.

Minister for Innovation and State Development Kate Jones today announced the State Government would invest $3.3 million to deliver the agtech hub.

Ms Jones said the government was looking for operators to establish and run the facility.

"Agriculture is a multibillion-dollar industry and is crucial to this region," Ms Jones said.

"We're investing in this industry to create jobs and stimulate the economy in the Darling Downs.

"We have some of the world's leading experts in agriculture and ag technology.

"This hub will be a world-class centre to train workers and develop cutting edge technology and products."

Ms Jones said the hub's purpose would be to build the sector's capacity to use technology and innovation to revolutionise farming practices and improve supply chains.

"Ag tech is the way of the future," she said.

"We want to develop better, more efficient ways of farming, but we also want Queensland to lead the way when it comes to exporting new products and technology.

"This project is vital."

Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said the new agtech hub would help strengthen the state's $18.5 billion agriculture industry.

"Toowoomba is already one of Australia's most innovative and productive agricultural regions and is set to lead the state as the gold standard for modern farming," Mr Furner said.

"We know the COVID-19 pandemic and drought have made it tough for the industry, so a facility like this that removes barriers to adopting new technologies and helps farmers improve productivity, diversify and increase margins will be most welcome."

Ms Jones said the hub would allow for mentoring, specialised workshops and industry forums as well as testing new technologies like drones and smart bots.

Ms Jones said a public information session about the project would be held in Toowoomba prior to closing tenders on July 13.

"People interested in establishing the hub and managing its operations for up to three years have an opportunity to tender, with the contract expected to be announced in August 2020," she said.

The new hub is an initiative of the Palaszczuk Government's $755 million Advance Queensland initiative.
The tender process will decide the hub's location.

For more information, visit https://qtenders.hpw.qld.gov.au/qtenders/.



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