Opportunities in the regions
Queensland covers a geographical area of 1.8 million square kilometres (1.1 million square miles), with investment opportunities in every corner of the state.
From the tourist mecca of the Gold Coast and the state’s thriving financial and business heart of Brisbane, to the sprawling farms of the Darling Downs and resource projects of the north-west – Queensland offers an array of industries and places to invest.
The Greater Brisbane region includes Queensland’s capital, Brisbane, as well as the surrounding areas of Redland City, Moreton Bay, and Logan City.
- Closest Australian eastern capital city to Asia –
- One of Australia’s busiest international airports
- Major warehousing facilities
- Port of Brisbane, which handled almost A$50 billion in trade in 2019–20
- Australia’s third most populated city –
- Australia’s fastest growing city (2.1% in 2020)
- Diverse local economy of $172.55 billion
- Cosmopolitan subtropical city occupying around 1,342.7km² (518mi²)
- Home to Brisbane Airport, with international and domestic terminals
- Globally connected centre and one of Australia’s most popular destinations for innovation and tech start-ups –
- 8 universities
- 98 health and medical institutions
- 105 life sciences institutions
- Multicultural and linguistically diverse population –
- Nearly one-third of residents born overseas
- 18% of residents speak a language other than English at home
- World Heritage-listed beaches, islands, rainforests and national parks within 2 hours’ drive
- Moreton Bay to the north –
- One of Australia’s fastest-growing urban centres and a hub for industry, innovation, manufacturing, and sustainability
Central Queensland has strengths in mining and gas, vocational and tertiary education, primary production, tourism, manufacturing, retail, and health services.
- Key towns and cities – Rockhampton, Gladstone, Emerald, and Longreach
- Mining strengths –
- Proximity to Australia’s largest coal reserves in Bowen and Galilee basins
- Power stations producing almost half of Queensland’s energy
- Hub for Queensland’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, including Central Queensland Gas Pipeline, a proposed 450km (280mi) high-pressure pipeline from Bowen Basin to Gladstone
- Port of Gladstone – Queensland’s largest multi-commodity port, throughput of more than 124 million tonnes in 2018–19, led by coal and LNG
- Biofuel and green hydrogen pilot projects in Gladstone
- Australia’s beef capital of Rockhampton and major export abattoirs
- Significant agricultural production, including major winter growing region
Known for fine wines, fresh produce and stunning wildflowers, this region covers nearly 400,000km², from the Great Dividing Range to the South Australian border.
- Key towns and cities – Toowoomba, and Dalby
- Size – 380,000km² (153,000mi²) of prime agricultural and grazing land and mineral resources
- Home to major beef and cotton operations – producing around A$3.2 billion of agricultural output in 2018–19
- Key transport and logistics hub, with regular international freight flights from Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, alongside direct road and rail access to Sydney and Melbourne
- Major exporter of fresh produce to Asian markets
- New strengths – Food processing, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, and agriculture technology
Stretching from Cardwell in the south to the Torres Strait in the north, Far North Queensland is a vibrant, tropical region known for its pristine natural environment and thriving economy.
- Key towns and cities – Cairns
- Queensland’s largest region – Covers around 380,000km² (147,000mi²) – slightly larger than Germany
- Tropical gateway – Next door to the pacific and south-east Asia, as well as to the Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage-listed rainforests
- Cairns – international tourist destination and centre of excellence for tropical studies and marine industries
- Home to Cairns International Airport, 2 major universities and 9 seaports
- Fertile agricultural land and mineral wealth
- Home to Cape Flattery Silica Mines and Rio Tinto’s Weipa bauxite mines
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural showcase, including the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair
Strategically located under an hour from Brisbane, the Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth largest city. The Gold Coast hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
- World-famous beaches, reserves and wildlife – Home to a vibrant tourism and events industry
- Australia’s sixth-largest city –
- Robust A$37.24 billion economy
- Competitive economic environment
- Unrivalled coastal lifestyle
- Under 1 hour from Brisbane
- Enviable film location – Diverse and easily accessible locations, world-class crew and location of Village Roadshow Studios – one of the largest lots in the southern hemisphere, featuring nine sound stages and three water tanks
- Gold Coast Marine Precinct – Dedicated to the manufacture, servicing, repair, and refit of recreational boats
- Strong culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, especially in food, fashion, health and, advanced manufacturing
- Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct – Australia’s most comprehensive environment for clinical research innovation, including:
- Gold Coast University Hospital
- Griffith University
- Gold Coast Private Hospital
The Ipswich region comprises of four regions, Ipswich, The Scenic Rim, Somerset and Lockyer Valley.
- Key towns and cities – Ipswich, Springfield, Beaudesert, Gatton and Esk.
- The region is predicted to increase in population to over 600,000 by 2032
- City and surrounding areas cover around 13,000km² (5,020mi²)
- Ipswich is the fastest growing city in Queensland with Springfield being the largest master planned city in Australia
- Defence strengths in the Ipswich region includes Rheinmetall MILVEHCOE and the expansion of the RAAF Base Amberley to be Australia’s largest defence logistics hub
- Lockyer Valley, Australia’s most important food bowl – known as the salad bowl of Australia and home to some of Australia’s largest horticulture producers.
- Scenic Rim’s strengths predominately in eco tourism and agriculture and was named in the top 10 destinations by Lonely Planet in 2022.
- Somerset region is an important contributor of meat producers and proccesors and home of the key water catchments for South East Queensland.
Mackay is located 1,100km north of Brisbane and is the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef. The region is known for its beaches, lifestyle and recreational attractions.
- Key towns and cities – Mackay, Airlie Beach, Bowen, Proserpine, and Moranbah
- Mackay – Subtropical city of around 80,000 people
- Mining strengths –
- Proximity to Australia’s largest coal reserves in Bowen and Galilee basins
- Expert mining and engineering services, including southern hemisphere’s largest mining services support centre
- Major coal ports at Hay Point and Abbott Point (export capacity 50 million tonnes per year)
- Agricultural strengths –
- Around 30% of Australia’s sugarcane production
- 20% of Queensland’s aquaculture production
- One of Australia’s largest winter growing regions
- Tourism gateway – Next door to spectacular coastal and island national parks
- Mackay Waterfront Priority Development Area – 172ha (425 acres) of riverfront land and infrastructure earmarked for revitalisation
North Queensland’s unofficial capital, Townsville is home to government, community and business headquarters. Magnetic Island, a popular tourist destination, is nearby.
- Key towns and cities – Townsville, Ayr, Charters Towers, Mount Isa, and Palm Island
- Townsville – Australia’s largest tropical city (around 195,000 people in 2020) and the main government and business centre for northern and central Queensland. Home to Sun Metals zinc refinery, Glencore copper and lead processing operations, and Pacific National rail freight terminal – service centre for processing metals from the North West Minerals Province
- Port of Townsville – Northern Australia’s main commodity port, handling around 8.2 million tonnes of cargo in 2019–20. Rich in renewable energy resources, including solar, wind and sugar cane bagasse – with investment opportunities in bio-based fuels and industrial products. This includes research on algal-based products at James Cook University
- Mount Isa – A vibrant mining town with an economy built on vast mineral deposits. Home to the Mount Isa Mine, the world’s largest single producer of copper, silver, lead, and zinc.
- North West Minerals Province – One of the world’s richest mineral-producing regions, with a Strategic Blueprint to secure its long-term future
- Key towns – Noosa, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, and Caloundra
- Strategically located under 2 hours from Brisbane
- Diverse subtropical region, with world-famous beaches and reserves, alongside major strengths in tourism and hospitality
- Hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, including Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network (international high-speed submarine fibre-optic cable)
- Significant fresh seafood industry, including export-quality fish, prawns, scallops, and spanner crabs
- Sunshine Coast Health Precinct – One of the largest concentrations of healthcare related capital expenditure in Australia, including:
- Sunshine Coast University Hospital
- Sunshine Coast Health Institute
- South Coast University Private Hospital, and adjacent Health Hub
The Wide Bay Burnett region begins about two hours north of Brisbane and covers around 50,000km². It has the largest population of any Queensland region outside the south-east.
- Key towns and cities – Bundaberg, Maryborough, Hervey Bay, Fraser Island, and Gympie
- Size – 50,000km² (19,305mi²), including coastal areas and hinterland agricultural land
- Traditional strengths –
- Heavy manufacturing
- Emerging strengths –
- Food processing
- Advanced manufacturing
- Australia’s largest macadamia-growing region, and produces more than 90% of Queensland’s mandarins, oranges and nuts
- Port of Bundaberg – Major sugar export hub