Local economic opportunities network
The local economic opportunities network (LEO network) assists regional councils and communities with decarbonisation and the economic opportunities associated with a decarbonised economy.
The LEO network will work with key stakeholders to identify, collect and discuss local opportunities and distribute information on government programs and services.
The LEO network is part of the Queensland new-industry development strategy. QNIDS was established to support investment in clean energy technology and help communities take advantage of the economic opportunities available in Queensland.
Queensland is in a unique position to capitalise on opportunities from the shift towards decarbonisation. Companies, investors and governments are investing in clean-energy technology to reduce carbon emissions and decarbonise their operations.
The global energy transformation has increased demand for renewable energy, electric vehicles, and lower emissions fuels for transport.
There are programs and initiatives available to help Queensland local governments, business and industry reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
- Queensland Business Energy Savings Transformation Program will provide 50% rebate of up to $12,500 to eligible small and medium-sized Queensland businesses to purchase and install eligible energy-efficient equipment, smart technology, and energy management systems.
- ecoBiz assists small to medium sized businesses develop an action plan to improve their resource efficiency and environmental sustainability and reduce operational costs.
- Manufacturing Sustainability Benchmarking Program to help manufacturers understand their sustainability progress with an online benchmark assessment. The report provides detailed results and recommended actions for improvement.
- Manufacturing Energy Efficiency Grant Program supports manufacturers to increase energy efficiency measures and technology, reduce energy usage and costs, reduce emissions and increase awareness of energy use with matched funding grants of $5,000 to $25,000.
- Climate Change Risk Management Tool for Small Businesses contains information on climate change, the related risks, and checklists to assess these risks.
- Emissions Reduction Fund earn Australian carbon credit units for every tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent stored or avoided through adopting new practices and technologies.
- Driving the Nation Program provides benefits for innovation in charging related technologies for new zero emissions vehicles.
- Queensland Zero Emission Vehicle Rebate Scheme provides rebates for eligible new Zero Emission Vehicles purchased from 16 March 2022.
- Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) provides benefits for households and small businesses to help with purchase costs of small-scale renewable energy system (solar, wind or hydro) or eligible hot water system.
- Energy Efficiency Grants for small and medium sized enterprises will support businesses to upgrade or replace inefficient equipment (opens early 2024).
- Go-Green Co-Innovation Program will help establish or expand business and commercial activities that boost two-way trade in goods and services across Singapore and Australia’s green sectors, driving the decarbonisation of economic activities or helping the countries transition to net zero emissions.
- Industrial Energy Transformation Studies Program assists large energy users to undertake engineering and feasibility studies to identify opportunities to lower energy costs and reduce emissions at their facilities.
- Regional Microgrids Program supports the development and deployment of microgrid technologies across regional and remote communities in Australia.
- Guarantee of Origin Scheme is seeking feedback on the proposed scheme design – the voluntary scheme would provide a mechanism to track and verify emissions associated with hydrogen and other products made in Australia, and renewable electricity certification.
- Product Stewardship for Oil Program provides financial benefit for businesses that recycle oil or use recycled oil in their operations.
- Advancing Renewables Program supports development, demonstration and pre-commercial deployment projects including opportunities to optimise the transition to renewable electricity, commercialise clean hydrogen and support the transition to low emissions metals.
- Powering the Regions Fund - Safeguard Transformation Stream Round 1 provides up to $50 million to trade exposed facilities to reduce their emissions and contribute to meeting Australia’s emissions reduction targets.
- Backing Business in the Bush Fund supports small to medium enterprises located in regional Queensland to increase productivity, long-term sustainability and competitiveness.
- Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) Scheme offers landholders, communities and businesses the opportunity to run projects that avoid the release of greenhouse gas emissions or remove and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.
- India Australia Rapid Innovation and Startup Expansion (Rise) supports start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which have mature and innovative technology to expand to Indian markets across a range of areas including circular economy, climate smart agriculture, clean energy, waste and circular economy, climate smart mobility.
- Support Plantation Establishment provides funding to support new softwood and hardwood plantation forests, with the aim to expand domestic timber supply, particularly construction and manufacturing timber resources, contribute to Australia’s carbon emission reduction targets, and support regional communities through the retention and creation of regional jobs.
- For agricultural business:
- Drought Preparedness Grants Program assists primary producers to undertake on-farm capital improvements to improve drought preparedness.
- Sustainability Loan provides loans for primary producers and commercial fishers to help them improve their productivity and sustainability.
- Get Your Business CN30 Ready outlines how meat operators can take action towards carbon neutrality.
Queensland Government initiatives and resources
Search government initiatives and strategies helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Contact the LEO network
Get in touch with your LEO network team member to learn about the economic opportunities available to you and how decarbonisation can benefit your organisation.
Frequently Asked Questions
The LEO network can:
- be a key point of contact within government for renewable energy, decarbonisation and other regional opportunities
- ensure regional stakeholders are kept informed on current government programs, policies and other initiatives
- provide a mechanism to engage with the regions on key issues and coordinate potential whole of government support
- facilitate communication between local stakeholders, agencies and all tiers of government
- identify resources, policy changes and regulatory frameworks required to seize opportunities and manage risks
- identify major projects and diversification opportunities and provide facilitation support
Decarbonisation is the process of significantly reducing or eliminating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. This includes the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from energy production, and from other activities undertaken by communities, businesses and households.
Historically, Queensland has relied on carbon-based industries, such as coal mining and coal-fired power stations as a source of electricity generation, employment and trade. Queensland’s economy is now shifting to diversify our energy mix and meet the challenges presented by climate related impacts.
Decarbonisation is a global economic force and capturing the associated opportunities presents a new wave of economic growth for the state. Queensland’s expertise in mining, and rich, natural resources which are essential to developing a global low-emissions economy, have driven considerable investment interest. Increased global demand for critical minerals, hydrogen exports and biofuels production can be leveraged to grow regional economies.
The Queensland Government, through the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, has committed to attaining 70% renewable energy by 2032 and 80% by 2035. As of November 2022, 22.7% of Queensland’s energy was produced from renewable energy sources. This means that there is considerable potential for Queensland further invest in renewable energy projects to decarbonise the state. Read more information about Queensland’s renewable energy target.
The LEO network is part of existing departmental delivery for regional offices and not subject to additional resources or discrete funding arrangements.
It will improve whole of government coordination and information dissemination relating to industry and regional development. In addition, the increased engagement on decarbonisation is expected to leverage increased economic prosperity for communities.
A Transformation Working Group will be established to facilitate discussions and collaboration between the state and local governments. Its purpose is to discuss issues and opportunities for regional economic transformation and manage the opportunities and risks. This will help inform the operations of the LEO network and provide an avenue for issues to be escalated.
The group will consist of members from Queensland Government departments and the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ). It will be chaired by the department’s Deputy Director-General, State Development Group.
The LEO network will provide advice and report annually to the government via the Transformation Working Group on the risks, opportunities and outcomes identified and developed through the network.
- Climate action resources for business and industry
Provides further climate action support for businesses and industry.
- Climate change
Highlights some of the climate change initiatives Queensland Government is undertaking and provides resources for households and businesses.
- Queensland Climate Action Plan
Information on meeting emissions reductions and renewable energy targets
- Queensland Climate Action newsletter
Read and subscribe to the Queensland Climate Action newsletter
- Glossary of terms ( 216.4 KB)
Decarbonisation stories in Queensland
Read about the work already underway on our news page.
Last updated: 21 Nov 2023