The Central Queensland region has a strong economic outlook with industry strengths in mining and gas, vocational and tertiary education, strong primary production, tourism, manufacturing, retail, health and community services. It includes 4 major service centres made up of Rockhampton, Gladstone, Emerald and Yeppoon.
Economy and infrastructure
Rockhampton is known as the beef capital of Australia. The city acts as a business gateway for the mining and agricultural industries that operate in Western Queensland.1
Central Queensland is known for its strong and reliable electricity generation (including renewables), transmission and distribution network,2 and its natural deep-water port in Gladstone is Queensland’s largest multi-commodity port3 and one of Australia’s busiest ports. With ongoing investment in unconventional gas, Gladstone’s strong industrial growth looks set to continue. Gladstone’s economy is also based on retail trade, metals smelting and manufacturing.
Industry growth areas
Food and agribusiness
Central Queensland is home to a multi-million-dollar agricultural industry that includes beef, cotton, grain and fruit production. which is supported by innovative research and development and rich natural resources.
The region produces an unequalled range of food products, counter-seasonal to the northern hemisphere, and houses two large export-licensed abattoirs4 and one of the nation’s largest livestock sales facilities, the Central Queensland Livestock Exchange.5
Mining and resources
The Bowen Basin in Central Queensland is the nation’s largest coal reserves and its numerous operational coal mines are responsible for about 90% of the State’s coal production.
The Port of Gladstone is one of Australia’s finest natural deepwater harbours and Queensland’s largest multi-commodity port, handling over 30 different products. Major cargoes include coal, bauxite, alumina, aluminium, cement and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).6
The Port of Gladstone had a throughput of more than 124 million tonnes in 2018-19, led by coal and LNG exports. The Port is entering a period of development and expansion with the goal to develop into a strategic port centre handling 250-300 million tonnes of cargo each year.7
Trade and investment services
Central Queensland is serviced by TIQ’s Rockhampton Office.
1Queensland Government Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Aug 2019, ‘Queensland Beef Processing Strategy 2019 -2022’, https://www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/industry/priority-industries/advanced-manufacturing/queensland-beef-processing-strategy, accessed July 2020.
2Queensland Government Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation, 2019, ‘Strengthening Central Queensland’, https://www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/regions/queensland/central-qld, accessed July 2020.
3Gladstone Ports Corporation, 2019, ‘Port of Gladstone’, https://www.gpcl.com.au/port-of-gladstone, accessed July 2020.
4Queensland Government Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Aug 2019, ‘Queensland Beef Processing Strategy 2019 -2022’, https://www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/industry/priority-industries/advanced-manufacturing/queensland-beef-processing-strategy, accessed July 2020.
5Regional Livestock Exchanges, 2020, ‘Central Queensland Livestock Exchange (CQLX)’, https://rlx.com.au/sites/cqlx-central-queensland-livestock-exchange/, accessed July 2020.
6Gladstone Ports Corporation, 2019, ‘Port of Gladstone’, https://www.gpcl.com.au/port-of-gladstone, accessed July 2020.
7Queensland Government Department of Transport and Main Roads, June 2019, ‘Trade Statistics for Queensland Ports’, https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/business-industry/Transport-sectors/Ports/Port-governance/Trade-statistics-for-Queensland-ports, accessed July 2020.