GROWING OUR REGIONS

GROWING OUR REGIONS Main Image

Our plan will help Queensland’s regions grow: attracting people, talent and investment, and driving sustainable economic prosperity.

 

Queensland is home to around 5.18 million people, with approximately half the state living outside of Brisbane.

The diversity of Queensland’s regions is one of our core strengths.

For example, more than half of tourism businesses are located in regional areas and, in some regions like the
Whitsundays, tourism accounts for up to one in three jobs.

Around 40 per cent of Queensland exporters are also based in regional Queensland. Despite the disruptions of COVID-19 to traditional supply chains, there is a rising demand for Queensland’s clean, green food and agricultural products, our resources, skills and services.

We will continue to work in partnership with regional communities to build economic resilience and complement locally led efforts.

Through local partnerships, we will focus our efforts on key projects that support regional business and industry, including in tourism, agriculture, resources and energy. This will help improve regional competitiveness and productivity.

Regional Partnerships

Queensland’s regional economies will be stronger and more resilient by building on their strengths, diversifying, and enhancing their capabilities.

We will continue to work with regions on projects and programs to support economic resilience and growth.

This includes co-investing with industry and private capital to support longer-term growth.

Bridging the Digital Divide

Connecting our regions to better broadband will improve business, lifestyle and government services by providing more digital opportunities.

Consumer behaviour has changed, and e-commerce and online retailing are here to stay. Queensland industries must embrace digital transformation to be globally competitive.

We are supporting new investment and jobs with the extension of the government owned QCN Fibre to provide Queenslander’s with faster, more reliable internet by using 10,000km of state-owned optical fibre along the east coast of Queensland.

In doing so, the Queensland Government is improving the quality of internet for homes and businesses, which will in turn support broader economic and social benefits for regional Queensland.

Delivering New Energy

In 2015, the Queensland Government started a renewable energy boom in Queensland.

Since then, 39 large scale renewable energy projects have become operational or are under construction, representing $6.6 billion in investment and around 5,700 construction jobs.

By the end of 2020, renewables are expected to supply 20 per cent of Queensland's electricity, putting the state on track to achieve our 50 per cent renewable energy target.

We will continue to build Queensland’s hydrogen industry, encourage renewable energy investment across the state, and develop a renewable export industry.

Access to reliable renewable energy will help grow and power our industries of the future. By pairing investment in renewable energy generation with high energy consumption industrial activity the Queensland Government will drive green, future-focused economic development.

Investing in Water

Queensland’s water resources and infrastructure are a key foundation of economic growth and regional development.

Since 2017, the Queensland Government has committed more than $1.2 billion in water infrastructure for Queensland, supporting around 2,300 jobs. We will build on this work by actively assessing further investments.

By continuing to invest in agriculture, industrial and urban water security, the Queensland Government is bringing down barriers to investment and supporting new regional economic activity.

Taking our Regions to the World

Amid the uncertainty of COVID-19, international buyers and investors continue to look for trusted allies and suppliers with strong environmental credentials.

Our industries are known worldwide for delivering products that are high-quality and have a reputation for using world’s best-practice solutions. Queensland’s success in dealing with COVID-19 while keeping industry operating presents an opportunity to promote our credentials as sustainable, reliable suppliers of natural resources, our traditional export strengths.

We recognise that tourism is the life blood of many regional communities and a vital export earner and job creator. We are committed to supporting tourism now and building resilience for the longer term.

In addition to targeted industry support, our small business assistance is also helping the great majority of tourism businesses.

Highlighted Action to Date

Regional economies have benefited from targeted industry support manufacturing in the areas of tourism, resources, agriculture, and construction. Many regional businesses have accessed loans
and financial supports.

We are also building and supporting vital infrastructure development in regional Queensland.

We are investing in projects that will catalyse growth in our regions:

  • $10 million additional funding to upscale the Collaborative Exploration Initiative and support exploration activity for new economy minerals for emerging technologies and products
  • $14.8 million additional funding to support the potential development of CopperString 2.0, a high voltage transmission line to potentially provide cheaper power to the North West Minerals Province
  • targeted supports to encourage regional tourists, including ‘Queensland – You’re Good to Go’ domestic marketing campaign, which is expected to generate $1 billion in overnight visitor expenditure and $15 million airline route support which is expected to support the return of 4,500 jobs as the industry recovers
  • $17.5 million funding for the agricultural sector to build business and digital capability and explore diversification opportunities
  • $10 million Reef Assist Program to deliver priority environmental projects and create up to 200 employment opportunities in the Great Barrier Reef catchments
  • delivering the final round of the $10 million Rural Economic Development Grants: stimulating investment, adding value to the agribusiness and food sector, and creating regional jobs.

Spotlight on Transport

Queensland’s transport sector is as diverse as the state it connects.

Stretching from tropical North Queensland to the Gold Coast, the sector plays an important role in supporting local economies and jobs.

As Queensland’s economy continues to recover, industries like tourism, resources and construction that are traditionally based in regional areas will need support to get moving again. The transport sector is also well positioned to boost emerging industries like agribusiness and hydrogen by building infrastructure to connect them with new markets.

Building and maintaining infrastructure can also generate employment beyond of the jobs required to deliver projects. Local construction has a multiplier effect, supporting regional supply chains that provide materials, expertise and other goods and services required to deliver transport and roads projects. From hardware stores, service stations to traffic management and control – delivering infrastructure supports more than just the transport sector.

We are already investing in Queensland’s regional transport. Throughout the pandemic, the Queensland Government has continued to invest in roads, delivering new projects as part of our record $23 billion pipeline of transport and road upgrades over four years. This investment will support an estimated 21,500 jobs, including approximately 13,500 jobs outside of the Brisbane, Ipswich and Redlands local government areas.

Powering our Future

Queensland is an energy powerhouse and a leader in renewable energy.

To continue this momentum, attract investment and create new jobs, the Queensland Government is investing $145 million to establish three Queensland renewable energy zones (QREZ) across Queensland – the southern, central and northern QREZ. In these areas, we will undertake strategic network investments, streamline the development of new renewable energy projects and work to
match industrial energy demand with our cheap, clean renewable energy.

Queensland already has a proven track record in energy. We have, on average, the lowest electricity wholesale prices on the eastern seaboard, excellent renewable resources and endless potential.

Our $145 million QREZ package will make strategic network investments to support our QREZs and help build the network of the future – helping to unlock congestion and allow more renewable energy projects to connect.

We will also support the deployment of new energy storage in Queensland to power our industry and our state over the long-term.

We will also attract new industries to these areas and support re-investment in Queensland’s existing heavy industry. This will not only grow demand for our world-class renewable energy, but also support Queensland’s COVID-19 economic recovery, with new investment and jobs.

Our $145 million investment will position Queensland to build the industries of the future, such as green hydrogen and green aluminium. We have the opportunity to establish these industries right here in Queensland, and export our renewable resources to the world.

QREZs will help make this vision a reality.

The development of three QREZs will create jobs, drive investment and support a clean energy recovery from COVID-19. It will also give our industries of today and tomorrow access to cheap, reliable renewable energy.