More than 50% of Bundy jobs under threat

SCIENCE fiction could soon become a reality in Bundaberg, with more than 50% of jobs under threat from technology in the next 10-15 years.

A report on the future of Australia's workforce found numerous local jobs have a moderate to high likelihood of being lost to technological advancements.

The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) report predicts a high probability technology could replace more than five million Australian jobs within 15 years.

Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Mal Forman said the impact automation would have on the community needed to be considered and it was important council canvassed all industries and community members.

He said council was already embracing the digital age, utilising apps and modern technology.

The council has also discussed leasing drones with the Local Government Association of Queensland.

The drones would allow council to monitor its landfill sites, roads and gauge flood damage.

While Bundaberg Sugar is riding a new wave of advancements, decades after its Fairymead mill developed mechanical cane harvesters in 1938.

Between 2009 and 2012 $40 million was put towards increasing the reliability, efficiency and reduced energy use at the now-defunct Millaquin Mill.

Widespread computerisation of normal human jobs is expected to expand competition through reducing consumer costs and worker incomes.

Another part of what has been dubbed the new industrial revolution is globalisation, where workers across the world use technology to perform jobs in remote locations.

A new report from the Foundation for Young Australians found more than 90% of the current workforce would need digital skills to communicate and find information to perform their roles in the next two to five years.

Cr Forman said people needed to be trained in new technologies.

CEDA chief Stephen Martin believes innovation and reskilling mature age workers are vital to addressing the rapidly changing employment scene.

He suggested a Danish scheme where people were trained in professions the economy needed instead of participating in work-for-the-dole projects.

But Professor Martin said new jobs and industries would emerge if Australia planned and invested in the right areas.

Although the Federal Government has allocated $190 million over four years to drive workplace innovation, Prof Martin said more money was needed.

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