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 four major service centres made up of Rockhampton, Gladstone, Emerald and Yeppoon.


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. It houses two large abattoirs and one of the largest livestock sales facilities in the country at Gracemere, just west of the city.

The Gladstone Region is a thriving industrial base served by one of Australia’s busiest ports, the Port of Gladstone. 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.

Major projects

  • Queensland Curtis LNG Project Pipeline, exploration and processing LNG Plant
  • Arrow Surat Pipeline Coal Seam Gas pipeline
  • Australian Pacific LNG Coal Seam Gas pipeline and LNG plant development
  • Queensland LNG Project pipeline and processing LNG plant (Qld Gas)

Regional strengths

The region’s economy has been driven by global demand for energy and food resources. Central Queensland produces almost 50% of the state’s electricity and its natural deep-water port in Gladstone is Queensland’s largest multi-commodity port.


Central Queensland is home to a multi-million dollar agricultural industry that includes beef, cotton, grain and fruit production. This sector makes up nearly one-quarter of our state’s total exports and is part of Queensland’s A$13 billion primary industry sector, 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. Rockhampton houses two large export licensed abattoirs and one of the largest livestock sales facilities in the country.

Mining and resources

The Bowen Basin in Central Queensland is the nation’s largest coal reserve and has 46 operational coal mines extracting over 200 million tonnes of coal annually, representing more than 90% of Queensland’s coal production.

Proximity to the Bowen, Surat and Galilee basins, with established freight and logistics infrastructure (including ports at both Gladstone and Port Alma), make Central Queensland a major hub for coal, energy and gas production.

The port of Gladstone handles more than 79 million tonnes of cargo annually and is the world’s fifth largest coal export port.Over 30% of the Queensland’s exports and close to 10% of Australia’s exports are moved from the port of Gladstone:

  • The largest wharf, RG Tanna Coal Terminal can move in excess of 70 million tonnes each year and handles over 40 varieties of coal coming out of the Southern Bowen Basin mines.
  • The new Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal, stage one due to commence at end of 2014, will export an additional 25 million tonnes of coal.

Gladstone is also home to a strong industry base including aluminum, chemical and cement production.

Coal seam gas (CSG) to liquefied natural gas (LNG)

The resources of the Surat Basin mean coal and CSG production is expected to increase tenfold by 2031. With A$59 billion worth of projects under construction and more investment in the pipeline, this substantial investment will dramatically expand the gas corridor and boost Gladstone’s standing as an international export hub.