Welcome from Director-General Michael Schaumburg

Greetings and welcome to the last issue of Queensland Economic Buzz for 2015.

In November the department's new strategic direction was released. The direction articulates our vision for Queensland's economy to be Australia's strongest and most diverse, and makes clear our unique purpose - to lead the delivery of economic development outcomes for Queensland. The department is well-prepared to deliver economic development outcomes and the jobs they generate. We will engage with our stakeholders and our government colleagues locally, state-wide and nationally to:

  • influence policy and the investment environment
  • facilitate a major projects pipeline
  • strengthen the regions
  • grow priority, new and emerging industries
  • support enterprise and jobs creation.

In 2016, our focus will be on the key areas of industry, regions and projects. Through our talented people, located in Brisbane and in our network of regional offices throughout Queensland, we will seek out and drive opportunities that improve our global competitiveness, grow new, priority and emerging industries. This includes delivering on the government's priorities such as the Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap, and Advance Queensland, grow the regional economies through investment, exports and job creation and identify actions that deliver new projects.

Advance Queensland is a suite of programs designed to bring together research and development expertise with industry and government, to commercialise technology and improve competitiveness. More on how you can tap into Advance Queensland can be found later in this issue.

The government recently announced contractual close on the $3 billion Queen's Wharf Brisbane development. Contractual close represents a key aspect of the final stage of the procurement process and a major step toward financial close. This is an exciting milestone for the project and a great achievement for our department, particularly the team in the Special Projects Unit, led by David Edwards.

Queen's Wharf, which is expected to start construction in 2017, is predicted to deliver 2000 jobs during construction, 8000 ongoing jobs into the future and a predicted increase of $1.69 billion annually in tourism spend. We will be working closely with businesses and industries across the state to maximise the opportunities and ensure they are prepared to make the most of potential economic gains.

Another coup for Queensland is Jemena's $800 million gas pipeline project from the Northern Territory, bringing jobs and critical energy supplies to the state's north-west. Jemena is an $8.5 billion company with significant Australian infrastructure assets, including the Queensland Gas Pipeline from Wallumbilla to Gladstone. This project is expected to generate 560 construction jobs across the 600 kilometre pipeline, as well as opportunities for local suppliers, when construction starts in 2017.

QGC Pty Ltd also gave the LNG industry a significant boost. QGC, along with joint venture partners China National Offshore Oil Corporation and Tokyo Gas, will invest $1.7 billion in a development that will support 1600 jobs. The works are part of the continuous development of QGC's tenements in the Surat Basin to sustain natural gas supply to both domestic customers and the two-train Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) liquefaction plant on Curtis Island, near Gladstone.

Finally, I'm delighted to report the Department of State Development won a Collaboration Award at the 2015 Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management for its work on the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015, important legislation which came into effect on 20 November 2015. Congratulations to the team - a great way to see out the year. Read more about the awards.

Queensland Economic Buzz will be back in 2016. Until then Christmas is nearly upon us and I hope you enjoy the season, get some time to relax, unwind and have a little fun. If you're taking holidays in the coming weeks, stay safe on the roads and remember, if it's flooded, forget it.

Photo: snapshot of DSD's new strategic direction

Advance Queensland shines spotlight on innovation

The Queensland Government will host a major summit in April 2016 that will put a global spotlight on Queensland innovation. The Advance Queensland Innovation and Investment Summit will be hosted in Brisbane on 27–28 April with input from Queenslanders all over the state.

The summit will help to make new local, national and international connections, which government recognises as increasingly important in this time of rapid change. It will also build on the work already undertaken for the Advance Queensland program, a $180 million initiative helping to accelerate our innovation culture and taking the state's innovation to the world.

To help showcase Queensland's best and brightest, an online engagement tool has been developed that offers Queensland entrepreneurs, start-up businesses and investors a platform for submitting and sharing their ideas, innovations, products and services.

The Advance Queensland navigator is an opportunity for anyone with an original product, idea or business that contributes to Queensland to be a part of a dynamic and exciting network of innovators. The navigator tool sits on the Advance Queensland website, where innovations are displayed in an easy-to-navigate panel. You are welcome to submit your innovation onto the navigator, and be part of a bigger and exciting network.

If you are an innovator, investor or start-up who is featured on the navigator, you also have the opportunity to feature the navigator technology on your website. For more information visit Advance Queensland or follow the conversation on Facebook.

Photo: Advance Queensland navigator

Biofutures to lead Queensland's industrial biotechnology revolution

A global bio-boom is upon us and Queensland is positioning itself to capitalise on this next-generation industrial biotechnology opportunity.

Industrial biotechnology is the creation of fuel, chemicals, plastics and other products from renewable biological materials. There is a rapidly growing demand for bio-based products which is expected to approach US$100 billion by 2020.

By acting now to catalyse the development of a sustainable industrial biotechnology industry in Queensland, it could bring $1.8 billion in Gross State Product and 6640 full-time jobs in Queensland by 2035.

This is a key opportunity to further diversify Queensland's economy and will boost not only jobs in our agricultural and manufacturing sectors, but encourage investment and regional growth.

The Queensland Government has recently released a Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap consultation paper for targeted stakeholder and public feedback. This is the first step towards developing an action plan to build and promote new generation industries and the plan is expected to be completed by mid-2016.

The Biofutures Roadmap is the first 10-Year industry plan to flow from the government's $180 million Advance Queensland initiative to create the jobs of the future. The goal of the Biofutures Roadmap will be to eliminate unnecessary red tape, identify the initiatives required to attract companies to invest and to allow this new industry to emerge.

The Queensland Government will work in partnership with key stakeholders in the biofuels and industrial biotechnology sector, research and innovation partners and peak bodies to develop the roadmap action plan.

The proposed biofuel mandate will provide certainty to the existing biofuel industry in Queensland such that it can continue to invest, innovate, and grow, as well as helping the state transition to a clean energy economy. The Biofutures Roadmap will rightly build on this initiative and will help drive the advancement of an industrial biotechnology sector for Queensland.

Read the consultation paper to have your say on Biofutures. Consultation is open until Friday 18 December 2015.

Photo: Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap cover image

Queensland's mining technology sector firing-up with new growth centre

Thanks to our abundant natural resources and long history in the mining industry, Queensland is globally-renowned in the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector.

This reputation will only intensify with the recent joint Commonwealth and Queensland Government announcement of the new METS Industry Growth Centre - METS Ignited - to be established at QUT's Gardens Point campus in Brisbane.

The METS Industry Growth Centre will be one of five centres established as part of the Commonwealth Government's $225 million Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.

The Queensland Government has committed $6 million over four years to the $20 million growth centre to further develop and commercialise ideas from our METS sector and universities.

The growth centre will be well placed to take advantage of additional federal funding as well as opportunities presented through the Queensland Government's $180 million Advance Queensland initiative which is designed to create the knowledge-based jobs of the future, drive productivity improvements and build on our natural advantages.

In an industry that is already worth $21 billion, has 400 companies operating and employs about 60,000 people across the state, the location of this new growth centre will mean greater opportunities for innovative ideas to emerge and commercialise right here in Queensland.

METS Ignited will fuel collaboration across the sector and will assist companies to accelerate the development of innovative new mining technology products and services, creating more knowledge-intensive jobs for the state.

The growth centre will work with researchers and industry to find solutions to challenges found across the global resources sector, including reducing production costs and innovative approaches to mine site rehabilitation.

Those solutions represent potential new export products and services to expand Queensland's already substantial METS product range.

The METS Industry Growth Centre will focus on four key areas:

  • reducing regulatory burden
  • increasing collaboration and commercialisation
  • improving international engagement capabilities
  • enhancing management and workforce skills.

Visit the METS Industry Growth Centre website for more information.

Construction update - Commonwealth Games venues

 Commonwealth Games Village site, November 2015

Work on the $320 million developments and refurbishments for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games™ continue. Three new sporting venues at Coomera, Carrara and Chandler are all on track for completion in mid to late 2016 and development of the Commonwealth Games Village is also progressing well.

In October 2015, the Premier of Queensland participated in a sod turning event to mark the official commencement of construction of the Commonwealth Games Village which included planting the first of 136,420 trees that will form green spaces throughout the development.

This massive investment into sport and community infrastructure will generate more than 1000 full-time equivalent jobs during design and construction phase. Currently approximately 370 construction workers are on site at the Velodrome, Carrara, Coomera and Village projects.

The first of the steel arrived at Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre construction site and work to upgrade the Broadbeach Bowls Club commenced on 4 November 2015.

Recently we spoke to Gymnastics Queensland and captured on video what the new Coomera Indoor Sports Centre will mean for the future development of their sport on the Gold Coast.

During the Commonwealth Games the Village will be home to 6500 athletes and team officials, with the venue infrastructure designed to create a lasting legacy for Queenslanders.

Keep up to date on games venue progress with the latest venue information and videos, and subscribe to our social media channels.

Photos: (top) Commonwealth Games Village concept design; (inset) Commonwealth Games Village site, November 2015

The Department of State Development and the Destination Brisbane Consortium reach contractual close

Queen’s Wharf Brisbane concept design

On Monday 16 November 2015, the Queensland Government confirmed it had reached contractual close on the $3 billion Queen's Wharf Brisbane Integrated Resort Development. Contractual close represents a key aspect of the final stage of the procurement process, which has been successfully delivered by the department.

The Destination Brisbane Consortium—The Star Entertainment Group (formerly Echo Entertainment Group), Far East Consortium (Australia) and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises—is now the contractor responsible for delivering the world-class tourism, leisure and entertainment precinct in the heart of the Brisbane CBD.

The Queensland Government in partnership with the Destination Brisbane Consortium will deliver economic growth for Queensland with the creation of more than 2000 construction jobs and 8000 ongoing jobs when the Integrated Resort Development is operational in 2022.

During the contract signing event the Premier, The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk said "This is great news for Queensland, it's great news for South East Queensland. It means a huge injection of tourism".

John O'Neill AO, Chairman and Non-Executive Director, The Star Entertainment Group said "The government drove a hard bargain, but we are delighted with the outcome".

"It [Queen's Wharf Brisbane] will be quintessentially Brisbane, it will be quintessentially Queensland and will reverberate right around the world," Mr O'Neill said.

The revitalised precinct will provide improved facilities for everyday use and public events, showcasing Brisbane to locals, interstate and international visitors.

Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham said the department was already working with businesses to maximise the flow-on.

"Queen's Wharf Brisbane is all about jobs and opportunities for Queenslanders and Queensland businesses ... we'll be working with businesses around the state to maximise the opportunities for them to supply goods and services," Dr Lynham said.

Site works are anticipated to commence in 2017. To stay up to date on Queen's Wharf Brisbane follow the conversation on Facebook.

Photo: (top) l-r: Matt Bekier, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, The Star Entertainment Group; The Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk, Premier; Dr Anthony Lynham, Minister for State Development; Chris Hoong, Managing Director, Far East Consortium (Australia) Pty Limited; John O'Neill AO, Chairman and Non-Executive Director, The Star Entertainment Group; and Conrad Cheng, Director, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited; (inset): Queen's Wharf Brisbane concept design

Minister shares vision for Queensland's defence industries

Over 200 defence and business leaders came together at Parliament House on Monday 30 November 2015 where the Minister for State Development, Dr Anthony Lynham MP hosted a Defence Industries Queensland networking reception.

Attendees travelled far and wide and included representatives from prime contracting and other major companies from around Australia, the Department of Defence, SMEs and research institutions from across Queensland, as well as the United States' Consul-General for Queensland and Japan's Deputy Consul-General.

Whilst celebrating the state's defence industry that last year attracted $3.6 billion in defence contracts for Queensland companies, Dr Lynham shared his vision for the continued growth, collaboration and innovation within this key industry sector. Dr Lynham reinforced the Queensland Government's commitment to creating jobs and their firm focus on driving innovation through the Advance Queensland initiative.

Attendees watched the latest Defence Industries Queensland video promoting the state's distinct innovation capabilities that are imbued across our defence industry participants and research institutions.

Department of State Development Director-General, Michael Schaumburg, and the Chairman of the Australian Industry Group Defence Council National Executive, Chris Jenkins, also addressed the gathering.

In addition to hearing the government's priorities for the industry, the reception provided an unparalleled opportunity for networking, not only between industry and government, but between Queensland SMEs and the large prime contracting firms, and directly with defence itself.

Defence Industries Queensland is committed to supporting and encouraging increased engagement across the greater industry, and events like this are an ideal forum for the industry to build networks, identify opportunities, boost collaboration, and ultimately position Queensland as Australia's front line for defence industries.

Photo: (inset) l-r: Thomas Wechselberger, Defence Industries Queensland; Rob McIntyre, Steyr Motors; Mal Lane, Defence Industries Queensland; Bernadette McIntyre, Steyr Motors

Queensland's defence industries promoted in New Zealand

Admiral Jack Steer, Chief New Zealand Navy addresses the NZDIA forum crowd

On 17-18 November 2015, nine Queensland-based companies and representatives from the department's Defence Industries Queensland attended the New Zealand Defence Industry Association (NZDIA) annual forum in Wellington, where the theme was to 'expand horizons and strengthen the ANZAC relationship'.

In true ANZAC spirit, Queensland company representatives joined high-level personnel from the New Zealand Defence Force and Ministry of Defence NZ at a networking event hosted by the Queensland Government. Queensland's Defence Industries' Envoy, Lindsay Pears, and Ministry of Defence NZ Deputy Secretary (Acquisition), Des Ashton provided keynote addresses. Mr Ashton encouraged Queensland companies at the function to approach his office to explore opportunities with New Zealand's defence force, effectively opening the door to establish new relationships between Queensland and New Zealand.

During the forum, the Queensland Government, through Defence Industries Queensland, provided an exhibition stand for Queensland companies to use as a base between participating in information sessions and conducting meetings.

Feedback from both the New Zealand and Queensland attendees has been extremely positive and now a 2016 NZDIA forum is being planned to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Photos: (top) ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system operated by participating Queensland-based company, Insitu Pacific; (inset) l-r: Des Ashton, Ministry of Defence NZ Deputy Secretary (Acquisition); Lindsay Pears, Queensland's Defence Industries' Envoy; Admiral Jack Steer, Chief Royal New Zealand Navy addresses the NZDIA forum crowd

It's a wrap at the Townsville Industry Breakfast

Over 450 North Queensland industry leaders and businesses learned about work opportunities on offer in the region at the Townsville Industry Breakfasts held in September and December this year.

These quarterly breakfast events, organised by our North Queensland team, are jam-packed with industry insights where attendees hear first-hand from project proponents and project leaders about economic development opportunities on offer in the region.

September's presentations highlighted some $2 billion worth of work opportunities such as MMG Limited and their new $1.4 billion Dugald River project; Lendlease and their recently awarded $85 million Science Place project at James Cook University; the Port of Townsville's short to medium term planned infrastructure projects, and Townsville City Council's 2015–16 capital works program valued at $210 million.

December's event featured Joint Logistics Unit North Queensland discussing logistics business opportunities for small to medium companies. Townsville City Council's Major Projects division presented on the CBD Utilities Upgrade Project - a $43 million investment in the renewal and future-proofing of the CBD's water and sewer supply network, and the Townsville Waterfront Promenade Project - a $137 million staged promenade along the banks of Ross Creek providing linkage between The Strand and Townsville's suburban bikeway network, unlocking 48 hectares of developable land within the CBD.

Finally, Industry Capability Network (ICN) Queensland highlighted Rio Tinto's South of Embley Project, a $1 billion+ greenfield bauxite operation in the Weipa/Aurukun region of Western Cape York, Far North Queensland. The new development will eventually replace the existing East Weipa mine centre and develop the high quality bauxite reserves available south of the Weipa Peninsula. The project involves the staged increase in production from 22 up to 50 million dry product tonnes per annum.

These events consistently draw large crowds, provide reliable information to industry so local businesses can take advantage of arising opportunities, and network with industry colleagues. They are led by the department and delivered in close partnership with AusIndustry, Building Industry Online, Townsville Small Business Development Centre and the NQ Industry Advocate.

Be sure to put the following 2016 breakfast dates in your business diary:

  • 15 March
  • 7 June
  • 6 September
  • 6 December.

Each event is held at the Townsville RSL, 139 Charter Towers Road, from 6.30am to 9.00am.

Find more information or register your interest.

Still not sure about joining us? Here's some feedback from previous attendees:

"If you're seeking connection and an overview of major projects throughout North Queensland, the Townsville Industry Breakfast is definitely a 'must-do' event. The Townsville Industry Breakfast is able to bring together a vast amount of industries under one location with the intent to provide locals the opportunity for growth." - Joe Aloisio, Business Development Manager, Achieve Group

"The Townsville Industry Breakfast continues to help our local business keep in touch, network and share some great stories of our region. The growing numbers prove the value it provides to those who attend." - Joe Hoolahan, Director, JESI Solutions

Townsville Industry Breakfast
Townsville Industry Breakfast

Photos: (top) Townsville Industry Breakfast, September 2015; (inset, left) Kathy Schaefer, Deputy Director-General Regional Economic Development DSD; Joe Hoolahan, Owner/Director of JESI; June Powell, Manager Economic Development, DSD North Queensland; (inset, right) Attendees talk one-on-one with Myles Johnston, Group Manager Business Development MMG Queensland Operations about the Dugald River Project

Award for collaborative excellence

Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management

The Department of State Development has received the Collaboration Award at the 2015 Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management.

Congratulations to the team working on the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 and port master planning for priority ports on receiving this prestigious award. The awards were announced at the Institute of Public Administration Australia's (ACT Division) ceremony held in Canberra on 26 November 2015.

Minister for State Development, Dr Anthony Lynham sends his congratulations and thanks to the team for their extensive, and intensive, effort.

"You can all be very proud of your personal contribution to achieving two great goals: firstly protecting the Great Barrier Reef for generations and secondly, allowing our priority port and their regions the opportunity to grow and develop. This is rare recognition for the behind-the-scenes team. Well done!"

The Collaboration Award recognises the team's achievement in delivering a new legislative framework, which came into effect on 20 November 2015, that balances port development in and adjoining the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area with the protection of the Reef.

The team led extensive collaboration across the Queensland Government and consulted with stakeholders outside of government to develop new laws that implement key port-related commitments of the joint Australian and Queensland governments' Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan.

The award also recognises the team's work on the early steps of port master planning, specifically for the priority Port of Gladstone.

Photos: (top) Methane Becki Anne at the QGC site, Port of Gladstone; (inset) courtesy of IPAA

Event calendar

Major Projects Series Queensland

In 2016 DSD will be delivering a new-look series including high-calibre speakers, timely information on current and planned major projects across the state, and networking opportunities needed to do business. Subscribe to stay informed and be the first to receive our event news.

View more about the Major Projects Series.

Townsville Industry Breakfast events

Our quarterly industry breakfasts are packed with industry insights, great speakers and regional economic development opportunities. Join us in 2016 on the following dates:

  • 15 March
  • 7 June
  • 6 September
  • 6 December.

Each event is held at the Townsville RSL, 139 Charter Towers Road, from 6.30am to 9.00am.

Find more information or register your interest.

Tendering for government business workshops

10 March 2016, 8.00am to 12.30pm
75 Camooweal Street, Mount Isa

View more about the workshops.

The events listed are either coordinated or supported by the Department of State Development. We rely on and acknowledge the valuable assistance we receive from our business and local government partners from across Queensland.


Visit the department's website for latest information about current events and workshops across the state.

Queensland Government