FUTURE OF FARMING: Department of Agriculture technical officer Ken Laws uses drones and computer technology to create complex three-dimensional maps of sorghum crops to use in plant analysis.
FUTURE OF FARMING: Department of Agriculture technical officer Ken Laws uses drones and computer technology to create complex three-dimensional maps of sorghum crops to use in plant analysis. Marian Faa

What areas to up-skill in to ensure you get a job in Bundy

THE jobs of Bundaberg's future have been outlined in a recent report released by the Bundaberg Regional Council.

If you're looking at where you should be up-skilling or beginning a new career, here are the sectors earmarked for future growth and the project driving them.

Agriculture and food processing

Agriculture provides one in five jobs in the Wide Bay Burnett, including jobs across the supply chain from the farm to the dinner plate.

As the region's stand-out economic performer, there is potential to build on this advantage by expanding into new derivative agricultural products and services in niche areas of food and drink processing, preservation and value adding.

Mining and mineral resources

The mining and mineral resources industry is expected to significantly drive trade opportunities across the Wide Bay Burnett over the next two decades.

This is due to large mineral deposits located across the region, particularly in the North Burnett.

Critical in getting these deposits to global markets will be regional infrastructure that connects the region's mines with roads, rail and shipping facilities.

Transport and logistics

The success of the Wide Bay Burnett will depend on transport and logistics infrastructure that can link the region's geographically dispersed agricultural and commodity bases with consumer markets.

Not only will investment in transport and logistics infrastructure provide a direct economic dividend to the region's producers and exporters, but it could also become a major industry in its own right.

A greater role exists for the transport and logistics industry across the Wide Bay Burnett, particularly at the Port of Bundaberg.

Marine servicing

Marine services is a growing industry largely dependent upon developments at the Port of Bundaberg and Fraser Coast.

This includes developments of a new maintenance facility by Pacific Tugs at Bundaberg, and other significant marine opportunities on the Fraser Coast.

Being outside Australia's cyclone disaster zone is also a strategic advantage for this growing industry.

Tourism

Tourism across the Wide Bay Burnett is driven by a number of natural attractions, including access to the Great Barrier Reef and whale watching at Hervey Bay.

Domestic overnight visitation, mainly involving drive-based tourism, will be enhanced by upgrades to the Burnett Highway, along with infrastructure investments in cruise ship berthing facilities and various proposed marina developments across the region.

Icon brands such as Bundaberg Rum also support visitor awareness of the region.

Defence and industrial manufacturing

Over the next decade the Australian Government will spend more than $200 billion upgrading Australia's sovereign defence capability.

By 2021 this will see Australia's defence spending reach two per cent of gross domestic product.

The Wide Bay Burnett is well positioned to capture a share of this expenditure by pursuing investment by defence contractors specialising in servicing defence training and sustainment supply chains.

Opportunities exist to attract naval and marine servicing facilities that support Australia's joint military training initiatives conducted at nearby Shoalwater.

Aquaculture

The Wide Bay Burnett has a history of aquaculture and an advantage of being close to Asian markets with a strong appetite for high value, niche seafood.

Given the region's climate, land resources and existing fishing industry, opportunity exists to expand aquaculture export trade.

This opportunity could be supported through upgrading the region's airports to international freight designation.

Agri technology

Like all industries, agriculture is being disrupted by technology capable of driving farm productivity and output.

Given the region's comparative advantage in agriculture, opportunity exists along the region's agricultural value chain to use technology to improve farm efficiency or in developing new niche products.

Nutraceuticals

Globally, consumers are becoming increasingly health conscious, placing a greater focus on preventative care and the use of natural products as part of managing health.

Products in this growing segment are referred to as nutraceuticals, an industry growing at seven per cent per annum in the United States.

Given the Wide Bay Burnett's reputation as a natural, clean and green environment, the region could develop future specialisations involving niche products that take advantage of its agricultural base, such as new medicinal standard foods, drink and vitamins.

International education

International education is Australia's third largest export.

With a growing demand for education worldwide, and a number of university campuses across the region, the Wide Bay Burnett has the opportunity to attract a greater share of Australia's full fee paying international student market.

This opportunity could start by attracting international study tours to the region.



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