February 2018

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Queensland export values rise by 26%

The value of Queensland’s merchandise exports rose 26% in 2017, with resource exports holding strong and fruit and vegetable exports increasing, according to recently released trade data.

The value of Queensland’s merchandise exports rose 26% in 2017, with resource exports holding strong and fruit and vegetable exports increasing, according to recently released trade data.

New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the value of Queensland’s merchandise exports hit a record high of $69.6 billion for the 2017 calendar year, up $14.3 billion from 2016.

Growth in the value of the state’s exports was largely driven by an increase in the value of coal, LNG and minerals exports, particularly hard coking coal, which is used in steel production.

Queensland farmers also contributed to the record figures, with fruit and vegetable exports for 2017 increasing in value by 13.5% and in volume by 17.2%, off the back of strong demand from India and China.

Other Queensland success stories included exports of transport equipment (excluding road vehicles), which rose 40.5% to $249 million, and exports of professional and scientific equipment, which rose 29.5% to $175 million.

China remained the top destination for Queensland exports, with the value of merchandise sent to the Chinese market rising 40.2%.

Japan and India continued to occupy second and third place, with exports to those countries increasing in value by 26.3% and 33.6% respectively.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland was performing better than the national average, and making a major contribution to Australia’s export income.

‘Our exports are growing at a faster rate than the national exports, which grew at an impressive but slower rate of 16% last year,’ she said.

‘For every four dollars Australia earns from exports, one of those dollars is generated in Queensland.’

Increasing exports to generate local jobs is a key priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you’d like advice on getting your product into an export market, connect with TIQ.

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Lakeland Wind Farm approved for Cape York

A $200m wind farm at Lakeland on Cape York Peninsula will go ahead after receiving development approval from the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

A $200m wind farm near Lakeland on Cape York Peninsula will go ahead after receiving development approval from the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

Lakeland Wind Farm will include up to 30 wind turbines and will produce around 100 megawatts of power for North Queensland, connected via the national electricity grid.

It will be constructed and operated by Australian company Windlab, which says the project will bring significant investment to the region.

Announcing the approval, Windlab CEO Roger Price said the company was looking forward to starting work after refining its proposal in consultation with members of the local community.

‘In securing approval, Windlab worked closely with the department and local community to optimise the project design to accommodate the property development plans of a project neighbour, reducing the number of possible turbine locations to 30 from 35 whilst ensuring that the project remained viable and competitive,’ Mr Price said.

‘Lakeland Wind Farm is an exceptional project and we eagerly anticipate starting construction this year.’

The new wind farm will be located 60km south-west of Cooktown on the Cape York Peninsula, not far from Lakeland township.

It is expected to take about a year to construct, and create around 200 jobs during construction.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said ongoing private sector investment, like Windlab’s, was concrete endorsement of Queensland’s renewable energy policy.

‘Our 50% renewable energy generation target by 2030 has encouraged an unprecedented level of renewable energy investment in around two dozen large-scale projects that are currently financially committed to or under construction right across the state,’ Dr Lynham said.

‘When complete, these projects will more than double Queensland’s renewable energy output and produce enough electricity to power around 987,000 homes.’

Lakeland Wind Farm will operate for at least 25 years and generate enough power to supply more than 50,000 homes – roughly the number of households in Cook Shire, Mareeba Shire, Tablelands Region, and northern Cairns suburbs combined.

Windlab is also working on Kennedy Energy Park near Hughenden, a hybrid wind-solar facility, and the Coopers Gap Wind Farm on the Darling Downs, which will be Australia’s largest wind farm.

The Kennedy Energy Park is jointly owned by Windlab and Japan’s Eurus Energy.

Renewable energy is identified as one of the priority sectors for attracting investment in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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BrewDog to build Brisbane brewery

Scottish craft-brewing sensation BrewDog has announced plans to open its first Australian brewery at a riverside site in the Brisbane suburb of Murarrie.

BrewDog reps (including brewdog Ziggy) meet Minister Cameron Dick at the announcement.

BrewDog reps (including brewdog Ziggy) meet Minister Cameron Dick at the announcement.

Scottish craft-brewing sensation BrewDog has announced plans to open its first Australian brewery at a riverside site in the Brisbane suburb of Murarrie.

BrewDog plans to build a $30 million production brewery and taproom on an 11,000m2 greenfield site in the Metroplex on Gateway complex.

Founded as a small business in north-east Scotland in 2007 by schoolfriends James Watt and Martin Dickie, BrewDog has gone from strength to strength around the world.

The company now operates 2 breweries in the UK and the US, runs more than 50 bars across the globe, and employs 800 staff members on their team.

Speaking at the announcement, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said BrewDog’s decision to come to Queensland was a coup that would deliver economic benefits to Queenslanders.

‘BrewDog’s choice of Brisbane over other interstate locations to open its first brewery outside of the UK and the US is a strong vote of confidence in our state from one of the world’s most successful independent breweries,’ he said.

‘This project will begin generating jobs for Queenslanders immediately, with 60 construction jobs ready to roll and a total 235 jobs expected to be created by this project over the next 10 years, simultaneously supporting local jobseekers and fuelling the state’s economy for years to come.

‘The incentives our government is providing through our industry attraction fund were instrumental in BrewDog choosing to base its Australian operations here in South-East Queensland.’

BrewDog’s Australian director Zarah Prior said that support from the Queensland Government and Brisbane Marketing was a major factor in the company’s decision to come to Brisbane.

‘We’ve been so humbled by the support from local businesses as well as the local community who have shown a real passion for BrewDog to call Brissie home,’ she said.

‘It’s a city that’s on the brink of some incredible growth, and we can’t wait to be a part of that.’

TIQ played a key role in introducing BrewDog to Queensland, with staff from TIQ’s London office advising BrewDog about the Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund before the company’s visit to Australia in 2016 to scout for potential locations.

TIQ London staff later arranged for BrewDog management to meet with then Treasurer Curtis Pitt to discuss the project during Mr Pitt’s visit to London in September last year.

BrewDog will work with local developers NPD Property Group on construction of the brewery and taproom.

Attracting foreign direct investment to create jobs for Queenslanders is one of the key goals of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

 

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State and local govt collaborate on trade

Queensland’s 77 local councils have signed an agreement with the state government to work together to boost Queensland’s trade and investment outcomes.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk signs the MOU with the Local Government Association of Queensland on 7 February.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk signs the MOU with the Local Government Association of Queensland on 7 February.

The Local Government Association of Queensland and the Queensland Government have signed an agreement for local and state governments to work together to boost Queensland’s trade and investment outcomes.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk and Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) President Mark Jamieson at the Port of Brisbane on 7 February.

Ms Palaszczuk said that the agreement between TIQ and the LGAQ would give Queensland’s small and medium-sized businesses extra support to expand into international markets.

‘Local governments understand the positive impact that export success and investment can have on local economies,’ she said.

‘The aim of this MOU is to improve support and coordination of state and local trade and investment activities, such as trade missions, and to provide help to regional councils, including training and cultural understanding, and in-market support.’

‘By working together, we can further strengthen Queensland’s export performance.’

LGAQ President and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said Queensland’s 77 local councils had a deep knowledge of their local economies and how they could benefit from more and better trade and investment activities.

‘They know which local businesses want to export or have the capacity to expand into overseas markets,’ he said.

‘They understand the importance of being on the front foot in attracting investor interest in their regions, which means competing in the global market using all the tools and resources they can muster.’

Ms Palaszczuk said that TIQ would provide funding for councils to receive practical advice on strategies to attract regional trade and investment and on leading and managing delegations.

‘We will also support a specially designed trade and investment professional development program for councils,’ she said.

‘For its part, the LGAQ has recently hired a senior trade and investment advisor to work with the state’s 77 local councils and with TIQ.’

The MOU is one of the key initiatives of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Apply now for Pitch@Palace program

If you’re a Queensland entrepreneur who’s using technology to benefit humanity, you could be pitching your project at St James’s Palace in London this April.

If you’re a Queensland entrepreneur who’s using technology to benefit humanity, you could be pitching your project at St James’s Palace in London this April as part of the 2018 Pitch@Palace.

But you’ll need to move quickly, as applications for this year’s Pitch@Palace program close Wednesday 14 February.

Pitch@Palace is an initiative of the Duke of York, designed to guide, help and connect entrepreneurs to influencers, mentors and business partners.

Pitch@Palace Commonwealth showcases entrepreneurs from the 52 Commonwealth countries, building Commonwealth entrepreneurs’ business skills and connecting them to local and international markets.

Queensland entrepreneurs have a strong track record in Pitch@Palace, with two Queenslanders making the 2017 global final in December last year, and Gold Coast company Nev House bringing home first prize.

Nev House makes low-cost homes, classrooms, medical clinics and other structures from recycled materials, supplying them to developing countries, Australian Indigenous communities, and other communities in need.

The theme for this year’s Pitch@Palace is ‘Human Tech – Benefits for Humanity’, and applicants are expected to address the need to build a healthier and more sustainable future.

Projects can come from a wide range of sectors, including:

  • biotech and medtech
  • education
  • energy and the environment
  • internet security
  • consumer goods and internet of things
  • artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • communications, media and entertainment.

Successful applicants to Pitch@Palace 2018 will attend a boot camp in London on 13 April and then have the opportunity to pitch to a panel of judges at St James’s Palace.

Applications must be submitted through the Pitch@Palace website by 14 February.

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Queensland expert at HK Golden Age summit

A Queensland expert in modern senior-living facilities was a high-profile speaker at the recent Golden Age Expo and Summit in Hong Kong.

A Queensland expert in senior-living facilities was a high-profile speaker at the recent Golden Age Expo and Summit in Hong Kong.

David Lane, Chairman of Brisbane-based architecture firm Thomson Adsett, shared his expertise on senior-living facilities during a panel discussion at the Golden Age summit.

Thomson Adsett has completed senior-living projects in Queensland, Melbourne, China and Malaysia, and participated in a highly successful TIQ aged-cared mission to China and Hong Kong late last year.

TIQ supported Mr Lane’s return visit to Hong Kong, which also included private meetings and an investor briefing.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Hong Kong, Julie-Anne Nichols, said it was a great opportunity to leverage Mr Lane’s extensive knowledge to promote Queensland’s well-developed aged-care sector.

‘As well as appearing at the Golden Age summit, David spoke at an event hosted by the Australian Consulate in Hong Kong on investment opportunities in health and aged care,’ she said.

‘TIQ Hong Kong also organised private meetings with local contacts to discuss potential areas of collaboration and commercial opportunity between Queensland and Hong Kong, including a private luncheon with the head of the Hong Kong Housing Society.

‘These kinds of activities don’t just benefit the individuals involved, but have spill-over benefits in terms of lifting the profile of Queensland’s aged-care sector in Hong Kong generally.’

Ms Nichols said the need for aged care services was growing in Hong Kong as the population aged, and this represented a real opportunity for Queensland enterprises.

‘Our local contacts have expressed interest in building stronger connections with Queensland’s aged-care industry,’ she said.

‘Bridget Ip, our Senior Business Development Manager, has been liaising closely with these local partners to identify the particular needs and interests of the Hong Kong market.

‘Focus areas include active ageing, ageing in place, technology solutions for older people, and successful models of community care.’

The Golden Age Summit and Expo ran from 26 to 28 January at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, and was held in conjunction with the ACAP Conference on Active Ageing.

The ageing of Asia and the resulting economic opportunities for Queensland are highlighted in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you’d like help to export your product or service into overseas markets, contact TIQ.

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Pizza-La promotes Queensland in Japan

Japan’s largest pizza chain is not only sprinkling Queensland parsley on its products but also promoting Queensland’s attractions to millions of pizza-lovers across Japan.

Japan’s largest pizza chain is not only sprinkling Queensland parsley on its products but also promoting Queensland to millions of Japanese pizza-lovers.

Pizza-La, a giant in Japan’s fast-food market, now sources parsley products from Sunshine Coast herb and spice company Gourmet Garden, following an introduction by TIQ.

Building on this Queensland connection, TIQ has also worked with Pizza-La and Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) to develop a promotion designed to further boost Pizza-La sales and deliver outcomes for Queensland business.

Throughout January, Pizza-La’s 550 outlets across Japan celebrated the 70th anniversary of Qantas flights into Japan by giving customers a chance to win return airfares to the Gold Coast.

A follow-up promotion is inviting Pizza-La customers to enter the draw to win one of 50 bottles of wine from Mt Cotton winery, Sirromet Wines.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Japan Tak Adachi said the relationship with Pizza-La had been a great opportunity to weave together an export opportunity for a Queensland producer with an in-market promotion to promote the state more generally.

‘Pizza-La is one of Japan’s highest profile, top-selling food brands,’ he said.

‘They have been extremely impressed by the quality and reliability of the Gourmet Garden products, and were delighted to partner with TIQ and TEQ to develop these promotions.

‘It’s been a win-win all round, with Pizza-La sales benefiting from the promotions, and Queensland benefiting from the national exposure to Pizza-La customers.’

Mr Adachi said the campaigns were promoted predominantly online and via 15 million Pizza-La menu flyers distributed nationwide.

Processed foods are an important export product for Queensland, while tourism is the state’s second largest services export.

Both are identified as priority sectors in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Bundy to get new macadamia attraction

Bundaberg will boast an $11.7 million macadamia nut processing facility and tourist attraction following approval from Bundaberg Regional Council last week.

Bundaberg will boast an $11.7 million macadamia nut processing facility and tourist attraction following approval from Bundaberg Regional Council last week.

Council formally signed off on a development application by Macadamias Australia to expand its existing Bundaberg infrastructure to include a 6,000m2 processing plant and a 535m2 retail outlet.

Announcing the approval, Council’s Planning and Development spokesperson Cr Ross Sommerfeld said the project would have many positives for the local economy.

‘The potential exists not only to grow and process up to 10,000 tonnes of nut in the next few years but also the creation of a tourist facility which will certainly add value to the business,’ he said.

‘Macadamias Australia, operated by the Steinhardt family from a property located off Goodwood Road, now supplies macadamia kernel to over 15 countries worldwide.

‘They have 195,000 macadamia trees planted and additional plantings are anticipated to significantly increase local macadamia production in the next few years.’

Cr Sommerfeld said it was estimated that construction and operation of the new plant and retail outlet would create more than 100 local jobs.

He said Macadamia Australia’s initial focus would be on a range of value-added products for export markets, in particular the growing Chinese market.

Australia’s macadamia industry is worth more than $200 million annually, with more than 70% of our crop exported to more than 40 countries.

The Australian Macadamia Society reports that Bundaberg is now Australia’s largest macadamia-producing region.

The food and agriculture sector is identified as one of Queensland’s priority export sectors in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Grants available for international ed projects

International education and training (IET) providers who’d like to collaborate on an industry project are being invited to apply for grants from the latest round of the IET Partnership Fund.

International education and training (IET) providers who’d like to collaborate on an industry project are being invited to apply for grants from the latest round of the IET Partnership Fund.

The partnership fund is an opportunity for Queensland-based education consortia to secure between $5,000 and $150,000 for projects that advance the state’s international education industry.

Projects need to directly support Queensland’s IET Strategy and advance one of its four priorities:

  • promoting Queensland internationally
  • enhancing the student experience
  • growing Queensland’s regions
  • connecting the industry.

Each consortium must comprise at least two education providers, and provide financial support for their project that is equal to the grant received from the fund.

Projects receiving funding in the previous round varied greatly in size, focus and location. They included:

  • Cairns Student Hub
  • Study Toowoomba International Hackathon
  • the Brisbane-based Raise Your Voice music project
  • Study Gold Coast student retention research
  • Study Townsville International Education Growth Strategy.

A total of 37 projects have received grants from the fund since it began in 2016.

If you’re interested in applying in this round, make sure to first read the IET Partnership Fund Guidelines, which provide more details about eligibility and other requirements.

Expressions of interest for the fund close 11pm Wednesday 28 March, with successful consortia notified in May.

The IET Partnership Fund is an initiative under the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

January 2018

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ESCO confirms $ for Queensland solar farms

Australian solar farm developer ESCO Pacific has confirmed financial backing for its Queensland solar farm projects at Susan River and Childers.

Australian solar farm developer ESCO Pacific has confirmed financial backing for its Queensland solar farm projects at Susan River and Childers.

Making the announcement last week, the company said that hedge fund Elliott Advisors (UK) would provide financial backing for both the 98MW Susan River Solar Farm (between Hervey Bay and Maryborough) and the 75MW Childers Solar Farm.

Affiliates of Elliott will own 100% of the projects and will fund both projects through to connection.

ESCO Pacific Managing Director and founder Steve Rademaker said that Australian solar projects were good news for both savvy investors and local communities.

‘It is clear that Australian merchant solar remains an attractive opportunity for experienced investors,’ he said.

‘ESCO looks forward to continue bringing jobs and growth to regional Australia through its extensive pipeline of highly advanced projects currently under development.’

The company said that construction of the Susan River and Childers solar farms could now commence and was expected to take 9 months.

ESCO is also building the 148MW Ross River Solar Farm south of Townsville, where site preparation works began last September.

Ross River will include more than 400,000 solar panels, generating enough electricity to power around 54,000 homes.

Also last week, local papers reported that Fraser Coast Council has approved development of a 400.67ha solar farm near Bauple, half an hour south of Maryborough.

Renewable energy is identified as one of the key sectors for investment attraction in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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