With multibillion dollar property, aviation and infrastructure projects underway, Queensland is progressing ambitiously.
Affordability, lifestyle, Queensland’s improving economy and infrastructure have been enticing people from Melbourne and Sydney to live here.
There was a low of 6,000 net arrivals in 2014, but the past 12 months saw more than 24,000 interstate arrivals.
Deloitte Access Economics forecast Queensland economic growth to lead the nation with an average annual increase in real gross state product of 3.4% over the 3 years to 2022.
South East Queensland is already home to one in seven Australians – 3.5 million people – and we are growing at twice the OECD average. Over the next 25 years in the South East alone, we will need to accommodate another 1.9 million residents and almost 800,000 new homes.
Over the past 6 to 7 years, we have witnessed the Brisbane property market endure an unprecedented and in retrospect unjustified level of scrutiny around a perceived housing bubble that is gripping the river city.
Seven years on, Melbourne and Sydney where from a peak in June 2017, have slumped by 6 and 12% respectively. While Brisbane’s property prices have held over the same period.
As more people call Queensland home, the health and education sectors offer strong foundations underpinned by world class universities, hospitals and research hubs.
There is strong potential to support further growth of this sector that is contributing close to 13% of gross state product.
And of course, Queensland is Australia’s second largest tourism market after New South Wales, accounting for 23.1% of the national tourism output, so remains a significant part of who we are.
Brisbane will welcome the $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf redevelopment & multibillion dollar transport projects backed by state and city council support.
The proposed Neville Bonner bridge will connect Brisbane City’s Entertainment precinct with its cultural precinct on the south.
These developments will help showcase Queensland to the record of 2.8 million international visitors that chose Queensland as a destination last year.
Beyond the Barrier Reef and the golden beaches of the Gold Coast, Brisbane’s lifestyle, culture and arts scene is seeing record numbers of international visitors.
Brisbane experienced the greatest visitation increase of 6.3% year on year and these visitors spent a record $2.7 billion here driving expenditure growth of 21.2%.
So, for visitors to South East Queensland and for people who are lucky enough to live here, an unprecedented level of investment has and continues to be made across lifestyle, arts and culture.
Brisbane is home to new premium travel and lifestyle offerings such as The W, Calile and Howard Smith Wharves.
Brisbane’s vibrant arts and culture scene is thriving
- Queensland Theatre Company has revitalised the Bille Brown Theatre
- Queensland Ballet is renovating the Thomas Dixon Centre; and
- Just last week the Queensland State Government announced a $150 million 1,500 seat performing art theatre for QPAC in South Bank.
Beyond arts and culture, Queensland is reshaping freight connectivity with Toowoomba’s Second Range Crossing, Central Queensland’s Inland Port, Beerburrum to Nambour Rail upgrade, and the Port of Brisbane’s expansion plans.
The Brisbane Airport Parallel Runway, Sunshine Coast International Airport Expansion, Wellcamp Airport and a new international broadband submarine cable is creating stronger global connections.
These enabling projects - coupled with the overwhelming desire for people and families to call Queensland home gives confidence for private investment to respond.
From a gross state product perspective, there’s no doubt that mining and agriculture continue to make a significant contribution to the Queensland economy collectively representing close to 15% of Queensland’s gross state product.
As the future of mining and agriculture is through scale and automation, future proofing Queensland communities and regional centres that depend so heavily on these sectors is crucial.
It’s already happening in some regional centres, like the Darling Downs with its economic strength backed by multi-billion-dollar investment in infrastructure by private and public sectors.
Wagner family’s West Brisbane Wellcamp Airport is providing a gateway to Asia for hundreds of local South West growers who can take their goods and produce to markets in China and beyond.
The Wagner family’s vision contributes to Queensland’s foreign earnings which saw around $8.7 billion rural commodities exported in 2017-18.
Queensland has come of age and the time is now for business leaders and policy makers to bring our maturity, experience, resourcefulness and ingenuity to bear globally for the benefit of urban and regional communities across the state.
As a CEO in Queensland’s largest listed company, I’d like to share three opportunities around the future possibilities for Queensland’s economy.
The first being Queensland as a global leader in Agtech.
By 2050, our planet will be home to nearly 10 billion people. To help keep this population fed, the global agriculture industry has to increase food production by 70%, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
So as this demand surges, the great Queensland minds that span across both tech and agribusiness must take this experience and play a leading role in disrupting what is the world’s oldest and, according to McKinsey, the least digitally mature industry – agriculture.
If we choose to sit back on Agtech, it would be Queensland’s greatest missed economic opportunity of our time.