Welcome from Director-General Michael Schaumburg

Welcome to the final edition of Queensland Economic Buzz for 2016.

The Department of State Development has continued to deliver economic opportunity, strengthen regional economies and grow priority industry sectors as we strive to make Queensland's economy Australia's strongest and most diverse.

The Queensland Government’s Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review (MYFER) released this week by Treasurer Curtis Pitt is an endorsement of the direction we are taking. Queensland’s economy is expected to be the fastest growing in the nation at 4% in 2016-17 and 3.5% in 2017-18.

Queensland’s revised $2 billion net operating surplus is also the largest in a decade and will enable the state government to introduce new job creating programs including:

  • a $200 million Works for Queensland program to support councils undertaking job-creating, maintenance or minor infrastructure projects
  • a $200 million Jobs and Regional Growth Package incorporating several initiatives to target regions with high levels of unemployment and to boost industry attraction.

Manufacturing was a big winner this week. Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham launched the Queensland Advanced Manufacturing 10-year Roadmap and Action Plan, which came on top of a $20 million Made in Queensland initiative in the Jobs and Regional Growth Package.

Both of these initiatives support evolution of traditional manufacturing to an internationally-competitive, jobs-generator of the future. Read more about the actions to position Queensland as a leader in advanced manufacturing technologies, products, systems and services.

Other highlights this quarter included:

  • launching the Biofutures Acceleration Program expression of interest (EOI) phase to generate interest from suitably qualified and experienced companies, and opening the Biofutures Industry Development Fund to help accelerate growth for this sector
  • partnering with the United States (US) Navy to present the Biofutures Industry Forum in Brisbane to drive the development of Queensland's biofutures industry. This event connected key figures from the state's biofutures supply chain with potential local and international end users, including the US Navy
  • Dr Lynham's trade mission to North America, which also helped to create opportunities for Queensland business in our priority sectors. The Minister supported more than 20 Queensland mining equipment, technology and services companies at MINExpo, the world's largest mining conference, to help secure a bigger chunk of the US $220.4 billion North American mining market
  • securing a $68 million investment from international box manufacturing company Oji Fibre Solutions. Located in Yatala, this facility will produce packaging for produce, meat and other consumer goods and initially create 55 operational jobs
  • the opening of CuDeco's new Rocklands copper mine near Cloncurry. North West Queensland is known for its world-class copper deposits, and this new venture goes a long way to securing the next generation of mines, and of course the jobs that accompany it. It's a real win for the region and for our department
  • the final tick of approval by state and federal governments for the $21.7 billion Adani Group Carmichael Coal Mine in the Galilee Basin was received last week, providing a huge economic boost for the state.

We also continue to deliver our significant infrastructure programs and economic development initiatives across Queensland's regions. Read on to find out more – including the latest news on North Queensland Stadium.

With 2016 drawing to a close, I would like to thank our clients and stakeholders for their continued support and assistance this year. A growing economy requires a team approach to create jobs and business opportunities for all Queenslanders. We look forward to continuing this important work during 2017.


Michael Schaumburg
Director-General, Department of State Development

Photo: Department of State Development's Director-General Michael Schaumburg.

Carmichael Coal Mine achieves final major approval

The $21.7 billion Adani Group Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project in the Galilee Basin has now met Commonwealth and state environmental requirements and its development will provide a huge economic boost for Queensland. Since early 2015, 23 key Commonwealth, state and local government approvals have been made on the project and 33 key milestones have been reached.

This will be the biggest coal mine in the southern hemisphere with a predicted output of 60 million tonnes per annum at full production. Adani has estimated that over 5000 direct jobs at the peak of construction and over 4500 direct jobs at the peak of operations would be created. These numbers are peak jobs for the full mine, rail and port project.

The project will include a vital rail link to the Port of Abbot Point, headquarters for Adani in Townsville and an accommodation village for the operations workforce to accommodate 3500 people.

The final, secondary approval granted on 1 December by the Coordinator-General was for approximately 31.5 kilometres of permanent rail line, as well as a temporary construction camp with up to 300 beds.

The rail section approved by the Coordinator-General will form part of the 389 kilometre standard gauge, heavy haul railway line from the mine in the Galilee Basin to the coal export Port of Abbot Point.

The Office of the Coordinator-General continues to work closely with Adani as the project moves to start construction in 2017.

Biofutures programs launched to accelerate growth

Two newly launched biofutures programs are setting this relatively small Queensland industry up for the rapid growth necessary to achieve our vision for a $1 billion industrial biotech and bioproducts sector by 2025.

In early November the Queensland Government called for expressions of interest (EOI) from leading companies to develop one or more commercial-scale biorefinery projects in Queensland and will consider a broad range of support services to attract suitable businesses.

The department is running an international awareness-raising campaign in the United States, Asia and Australia, to generate interest from suitably qualified and experienced companies.

The EOI is the next step in the Queensland Government's strategy to attract significant investment and growth to our state. It supports the vision for a $1 billion biofutures industry, delivering future jobs for Queenslanders, particularly in regional areas.

The Queensland Government's Biofutures Acceleration Program Expression of Interest is open until 18 January 2017.

On 25 November the government also opened the Biofutures Industry Development Fund for applications.

This $5 million fund closes a gap in the funding and investment cycle for biofutures projects, helping proponents with well-advanced and innovative projects in Queensland complete the final stages of financial due diligence to secure financing from investors.

If you have a project you think might be eligible, take the time to review the fund's guidelines and complete an application.

These two programs, part of the Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan, further cement Queensland's reputation as a supportive investment location for the biofutures industry.

Queensland State Netball Centre shoots toward construction

The department is working in partnership with Stadiums Queensland to deliver another premier sporting facility – the $40 million Queensland State Netball Centre in Brisbane.

Leading the infrastructure delivery for the project, the department has worked closely with BVN Architects to finalise preliminary designs, with construction to start by mid-2017.

The infrastructure project will create around 100 jobs during construction and ongoing work for event staff when it opens. Once completed, major games and events will be broadcast from the 5000 seat capacity showcourt.

Located at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre in Nathan, the centre will be a permanent home for the Queensland Firebirds and provide an important development base for young netballers from clubs, schools and junior development programs, as well as seniors and representative players.

Read more about the Queensland Netball Centre.

Photos: (top and inset) Queensland State Netball Centre preliminary design drawings.

Queen's Wharf Brisbane works to start 2017

The $3 billion world-class Queen's Wharf Brisbane Integrated Resort Development, and the thousands of resulting jobs for Queenslanders, is edging closer, with works to start in 2017.

Revitalising Brisbane's CBD and river edge with its stunning subtropical design, Queen's Wharf Brisbane will become an international tourism icon. The project paves the way for incredible leisure and event opportunities, with five new premium hotels, including the Ritz Carlton and 50 restaurants, cafes and bars. Queen's Wharf Brisbane sits within the Queensland Government's priority to attract more tourists, in particular internationals, and to have them stay longer.

The project will transform an underutilised area of the city into a vibrant precinct for the enjoyment of both visitors and the community.

Read more about Queen's Wharf Brisbane.

Photo: The Queen's Wharf Brisbane Integrated Resort Development. © Destination Brisbane Consortium. All rights reserved. Artist's impression. Subject to planning approvals.

DSD rapid response keeps Swickers and the local economy ticking

The department demonstrated its rapid response expertise following the Kingaroy Swickers bacon factory fire during November, helping the company – one of the largest employers in the area – to recommence full production and preserve jobs.

With the export distribution centre, boning room and chillers all destroyed by the fire, the department's team hit the ground running in Kingaroy the day after the incident, leading a whole-of-government response to support the company.

To keep Swickers up and running and preserve 570 jobs, the department helped redeploy approximately 120 workers to a new boning plant at Wilpak Meats Ipswich, where they will remain for up to 24 months while the damaged facility is rebuilt.

All other employees continue to work in Kingaroy, in the unaffected areas of the factory.

The department worked closely with Swickers, South Burnett Regional Council, Ipswich City Council and other state agencies to identify and prioritise issues and to provide a coordinated response.

This exemplary cooperation between government, council and local business is a concrete example of the department's capacity to deliver real and sustainable recovery options for regional towns, saving jobs and businesses.

Community has its say on Nathan Dam, Townsville Port Expansion and Coopers Gap Wind Farm

The Office of the Coordinator-General has recently concluded consultation processes associated with environmental impact statement (EIS) assessments for Nathan Dam, Townsville Port Expansion and Coopers Gap Wind Farm. The Coordinator-General is now considering all submissions to finalise the project assessments.

Collectively, these projects represent an estimated $3.34 billion capital investment for Queensland and have the potential to create 1049 jobs during peak construction, with an estimated 205 full-time operational jobs.

  • Nathan Dam's proponent, SunWater Limited, aims to construct and operate an 888,000 megalitre dam with an annual yield of 66,000 megalitres in the Central Queensland region.

  • Port of Townsville Limited proposes the Townsville Port Expansion, which includes deepening and widening existing shipping channels, constructing six new berths and establishing an area of reclaimed land for port use to support export opportunities.

  • The Coopers Gap Wind Farm, by AGL Energy Limited, offers an exciting opportunity for Queensland to expand its renewable energy sources. Located 50 kilometres west of Kingaroy, the wind farm could eventually generate up to 460 megawatts of power through an estimated 115 wind turbines.

Anna Meares Velodrome in top gear for the Commonwealth Games

The new $59 million Anna Meares Velodrome was formally opened on 12 November, with Olympic champion Anna Meares as the guest of honour.

Located at Chandler, the velodrome is one of two Brisbane sporting venues to be used for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018), alongside the Belmont Shooting Complex.

The velodrome is the first in the world with full LED, broadcast-quality lighting and features an international competition-standard 250-metre timber cycling track.

More than just a track-cycling facility, the velodrome's design incorporates a range of additional community sport and recreation facilities, including mixed-use sport courts and function spaces.

Queensland has a proud history of producing outstanding track-cycling athletes. This new indoor facility will ensure local cycling continues to flourish and help to attract larger national and international cycling events to Queensland.

The Department of State Development has delivered two new world-class sporting facilities for GC2018, with the velodrome and Coomera Sports Centre already open and the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre due for completion in early 2017. The department is also managing the upgrade of seven existing facilities.

Find out more about the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games venues and check out the velodrome project time lapse.

Photos: (top) Olympic champion Anna Meares; (inset) Anna Meares with Premier and Minister for the Arts Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Building our Regions Round 2 to deliver jobs and essential infrastructure

The $375 million Building our Regions program continues to deliver essential infrastructure projects in our regional communities – supporting jobs, creating economic development opportunities and increasing liveability. Round 2 was announced in mid-November with 51 successful projects ranging from water, waste and sewerage infrastructure to cultural, sport and recreation facilities, airport upgrades and flood mitigation programs.

During construction, these projects will support 610 jobs, building on the 687 jobs generated through Round 1.

All Building our Regions projects make a real difference for regional communities – from the infrastructure itself to the flow-on economic development opportunities these projects enable.

Under Round 2, regional Queensland will receive almost $80 million in funding:

  • Far North Queensland: over $5.4 million for nine projects
  • North West Queensland: over $3.6 million for six projects
  • North Queensland: over $7.9 million for seven projects
  • Mackay Isaac Whitsunday: almost $7.9 million for three projects
  • Central Queensland: over $23.4 million for 11 projects
  • Wide Bay Burnett: almost $12.9 million for six projects
  • South West Queensland: almost $18 million for nine projects.

For a full list of Round 2 projects, view the Building our Regions interactive map.

North Queensland Stadium kicking-on for 2020 NRL season

Momentum is building for the $250 million North Queensland Stadium project that will deliver a centrally located, 25,000 seat regional facility in Townsville in time for the 2020 NRL season.

Expressions of interest (EOI) for the managing contractor opened 14 December and will close on 18 January 2017, after which a shortlist will be invited to submit formal tenders.

The project will be a catalyst for urban regeneration, local investment and jobs growth in Townsville, delivering up to 750 jobs throughout the design and construction stages.

Four leading Australian businesses were invited to submit design tenders for the role of principal consultant, with more than 20 local Townsville businesses included as part of their design teams. These shortlisted businesses have lodged their proposed stadium concept designs and site master plans. The successful principal consultant is expected to be appointed before the end of the year.

A key objective for the project is to provide local industry with full, fair and reasonable opportunities to tender for work, either as full-scope contractors, partial-scope contractors or suppliers during the construction phase of the project.

The successful managing contractor will work closely with the principal consultant and will be required to create local employment opportunities, ensure suitable local businesses are given the opportunity to tender on trade packages, identify opportunities for local industry innovation and achieve project training targets.

The department will work closely with the managing contractor, once appointed, to maximise opportunities for local contractors to participate in the project. Local businesses with capability in the areas of construction and related trades, manufacturing and supply of equipment are urged to review the 46 work packages now online at northqueenslandstadium.icn.org.au and register their interest.

The project is supported by $140 million in funding from the Queensland Government, $100 million from the federal government through a City Deal Agreement and $10 million from the National Rugby League. The Townsville City Council is contributing the land and supporting infrastructure.

Find out more information about the North Queensland Stadium project.

Photos: (top) Artist's impression of the North Queensland Stadium; (inset) the project will deliver a centrally located regional stadium in Townsville.

Guideline for priority port master planning released

The Queensland Government has released the Guideline: master planning for priority ports to support master planning for the priority ports of Gladstone, Abbot Point, Townsville, Hay Point and Mackay.

Priority ports are regional bulk commodity ports operating alongside the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) and require master plans under the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015.

The guideline provides a strategic framework on how the government will achieve master plans for priority ports and the regulatory instrument that will implement the master plan – the port overlay.

The guideline was prepared following consideration of submissions received during public consultation on the draft guideline conducted earlier this year.

The master plans will provide direction for the sustainable development of Queensland's priority ports, giving investment certainty to industry and assurance for the ongoing protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the GBRWHA.

As the department progresses with priority port master planning, it will continue to focus on consultation with key stakeholders and the community. Consultation will be essential to deliver master plans and port overlays that support the growth of priority ports, maintaining Queensland's export capacity and protecting the reef.

View the Guideline: master planning for priority ports.

Queensland Government