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  • The Bundaberg food and beverage manufacturing sector is one of four key Queensland regional sectors to receive more funding support by the Palaszczuk Government to help with the implementation of locally focused and led workforce planning initiatives.
  • The new ‘Grow Your Own’ program is partnering with regional industries and communities to develop workforce plans and action-based initiatives.
  • The program’s budget is $4.5 million over three years and is delivered through Jobs Queensland.


The Palaszczuk Government’s new Grow Your Own program is ensuring key industries in the regions remain competitive – with ready-access to suitable training programs to attract new workers and upskill existing workers.

The program will support the delivery of comprehensive workforce plans to nurture Bundaberg’s regional industry workforces.

Other Queensland regional industries partnering with Jobs Queensland and receiving initial funding and support are:

  • the Wide Bay forestry sector
  • the Cairns maritime/marine sector
  • and the Far North Queensland water sector as the first four regional industries to partner with Jobs Queensland.

The Grow Your Own program helps local key stakeholders and industry representatives to identify workforce needs, plan what skills will be required, and map how the region and industry can meet the needs of the sector and support the region’s economic goals.

Quotes attributable to the Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith:

“The development of a workforce plan will be an important step in ensuring that the industry in our region remains competitive and that local workers have access to the training they need to succeed.

Manufacturing has always played a key role in the economic success of the Bundaberg region and through this program will continue to be a strategic asset to value-add to traditional industries.

“The work of Jobs Queensland in engaging with local industry to identify their workforce challenges and opportunities will be important to filling their skills needs.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Employment and Small Business, Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer:

 “The Palaszczuk Labor Government is helping regions to ‘grow their own’ workforce – supporting tailored plans that will help regional industries address workforce risks and challenges.

“The first four regional industries supported by the ‘Grow Your Own’ program are all essential to local economies and job creation.

“The Bundaberg economy is worth $8.2 billion dollars and local food and beverage manufacturing contributes approximately $686 million dollars toward this – or 8.3% total region production. In Wide Bay, the forestry and timber industry plays an important role, supporting jobs in the Gympie and Maryborough communities.”

Quotes attributable to Donna Bonney – Chair, Jobs Queensland Board:

“Jobs Queensland is engaging with local industry leaders to identify their workforce challenges and opportunities.

“Changes in technology, workforce demographics, and the evolution of hybrid work practices are reshaping the way we attract, recruit and retain workers with the required skills. We will continue to work with them and provide support so they can ‘grow their own’ regional workforce to meet their current and future needs.”

Explainer/fast fact and or further information:

  • ‘Grow Your Own’ is supporting the delivery of one of 33 actions, identified in the first Action Plan (2022-2025) of the Good people. Good jobs: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022–2032.
  • The Queensland Workforce Strategy includes a focus on ‘Local Solutions’ – to implement locally focused and led workforce planning initiatives will enable Queensland regions and industries to have a strong and diverse workforce ready to seize today’s jobs and adapt to future opportunities.


Published Friday 29 September, 2023 at

Last updated 3 January 2024