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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’s opportunity

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.

Decarbonisation support

There are programs and initiatives available to help Queensland local governments, business and industry reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Business Sustainability and Energy Efficiency

  • Queensland Business Energy Savings Transformation Program provides 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.
  • Climate Change Risk Management Tool for Small Businesses contains information on climate change, the related risks, and checklists to assess these risks.
  • 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.
  • 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. Eligible sectors include agriculture, mining, manufacturing, gas supply, water supply, waste services and data centres.
  • Emissions Reduction Fund earn Australian carbon credit units for every tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent stored or avoided through adopting new practices and technologies.
  • 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.

Transport

Manufacturing

  • Net Zero Workshops for Manufacturers half-day workshop provides an overview of the benefits of sustainable manufacturing, reviews the steps in determining a company’s carbon footprint and assists attendees develop a high level net zero action plan.
  • Net Zero Training for Leaders in Manufacturing one-day masterclass provides leaders with knowledge to drive innovation, create a sustainable journey of transformation and reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint.
  • Manufacturing Sustainability Benchmarking Program helps 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.

Agriculture

  • Climate-Smart Agriculture Program supports best practice sustainable agriculture and natural resource management activities including Partnerships and Innovation Grants, Capacity Building Grants, Small Grants, Soil Capacity Building Grants and other support.
  • Support Plantation Establishment Program supports the establishment of new long-rotation softwood and hardwood plantation forests in Australia and assists the sector in responding to the projected growth in demand for domestically sourced timber resources
  • 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.

Tourism

Clean Energy Projects and Developments

  • Industry Growth Program and Advisory Service supports innovative small and medium enterprises undertaking commercialisation and/or growth projects within the National Reconstruction Fund priority areas including renewables and low emissions technologies.
  • National Reconstruction Fund provides debt finance, equity finance and guarantees for businesses with compelling proposals in priority areas including renewables and low emissions technologies.
  • National Industrial Transformation Program will support the reduction of scope 1 and scope 2 emissions at existing or planned industrial facilities across Australia.
  • Low Emissions Investment Partnerships will support the reduction of emissions from Safeguard Mechanism facilities in the metallurgical coal sector, which has a critical role in producing steel for the renewable technologies to decarbonise the state.
  • Business Research and Innovation Initiative provides small to medium sized enterprises with funding to develop innovative solutions to: increasing energy efficiency of commercial fishing operations; or powering safe drinking water for Australian First Nations remote communities; or alternative packaging for premium Australian wine.
  • Regional Microgrids Program supports the development and deployment of microgrid technologies across regional and remote communities in Australia.
  • 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.
  • Product Stewardship for Oil Program provides financial benefit for businesses that recycle oil or use recycled oil in their operations.

Local Government

  • Community Energy Upgrades Fund will co-fund energy efficiency and electrification upgrades for local governments to deliver reduced energy bills and emissions from local government owned and/or operated facilities.
  • Regional Precincts and Partnerships Program offers grants to deliver infrastructure projects within regional precincts in partnership with local stakeholders to benefit regional communities, with intended outcomes including, but not limited to, transitioning to a net zero economy or supporting Australia’s emission reduction goals.

International Trade Exposed Facilities

Queensland Government initiatives and resources

Search government initiatives and strategies helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Category

Action or strategy

Agriculture

Queensland Low Emissions Agriculture Roadmap 2022-2032 will assist Queensland agribusinesses and the broader supply chain to lower their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions without impacting the supply of food and fibre.

Agriculture

Farm Business Resilience Planning provides access to training and assists in preparing a farm management plan.

Agriculture

Farm Management Grants Program offers primary producers a 50 per cent rebate on the cost of eligible professional advice up to a maximum $2,500 to produce a Farm Business Resilience Plan for their property.

Agriculture

Drought Preparedness Grants Scheme offer up to $50,000 as a co-contribution grant to assist primary producers undertake on-farm capital improvements to improve drought preparedness.

Agriculture

AgTech Roadmap aims to drive technological innovation in the sector.

Agriculture

Agriculture Sector Adaptation Plan highlights adaptation activities and considers gaps and barriers to climate risk management and adaptation in the sector.

Agriculture

Queensland Agriculture and Food Research, Development and Extension 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan provides support for sectoral innovation and the development of agri-technology.

Business

Decarbonisation of the Great Barrier Reef Island Program worked with island resorts and communities to develop operations for decarbonisation.

Business

Great Barrier Reef Island Resorts Rejuvenation program delivers ‘greening’ initiatives to improve sustainability practices.

Business

ecoBiz works with more than 1,100 small to medium enterprises to improve resource efficiency, environmental sustainability and lower their operating costs.

Communities

Decarbonising Remote Communities program provides support to Doomadgee, Mapoon, Pormpuraaw and the Northern Peninsula Area to install renewable energy systems and reduce diesel power. This program is now completed.

Communities

Strategic Blueprint for Queensland’s North-West Minerals Province has actions to facilitate the resource sector development, diversify the region’s economy to create job opportunities, and deliver integrated services for businesses and community.

Communities

Communities in Transition Pilot Program is assisting six Queensland communities to navigate global transitions for long-term viability and sustainability.

Communities

Queensland Climate Resilient Councils works with Queensland local governments to deliver services and products to strengthen staff and leadership skills and capacity to plan for and respond to the challenges and opportunities arising from climate change.

Communities

Regional Economic Futures Fund supports communities in seizing industry development opportunities presented by global decarbonisation.

Construction

Zero Net Emissions 2050 Buildings Plan includes:

  • developing building-related strategies to deliver commitments in the Queensland Climate Transition Strategy
  • develop Queensland Development Codes to provide appropriate standards for green roofs and green walls and to guide maintenance of the energy efficiency features in commercial buildings
  • drive the national agenda to improve the sustainability performance of new privately-owned dwellings and commercial buildings by updating the National Construction Code.

Construction

Brisbane 2032 Climate Positive Olympic and Paralympic Games preparation including information on the sustainability strategies for a climate positive Games.

Construction

Infrastructure Sustainability Council conduct mandatory assessment of major project sustainability.

Construction

Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council's Building Code Energy Performance Trajectory Project aims to reduce stress on the electricity network, offering bill savings, supporting a least-cost pathway to a zero carbon built environment, and improving health and resilience outcomes for households and businesses.

Construction

Queensland Building Plan guides policy and legislation to create a safer, fairer and more sustainable construction industry.

Energy

Powering Queensland Plan guides the state through the short-term and long-term challenges facing Australia's energy markets. This includes the Renewables 400 program which identified best projects to increase the state’s renewable energy supply and deliver 400 MW of new renewable energy and storage projects through the state.

Energy

Solar Farm Guidelines - Renewable energy project planning and approvals is a practical guidelines for communities, landholders and project proponents and provides guidance to developers on planning, designing, and constructing solar farms in Queensland

Energy

Renewable energy project planning and approvals site provides links and guidance for development of renewable energy projects (solar and wind). Includes link to Solar Farm Guidelines: Guidance for local governments (pdf)

Energy

Powering Queensland’s battery industry provides a outline of the stages to develop a strategy for the battery induction in Queensland

Environment

Land Restoration Fund will expand carbon farming in Queensland by supporting land management projects that not only keep carbon in the ground, but also deliver positive impacts or ‘co-benefits’ for our environment and communities.

Environment

Drought and Climate Adaptation Program helps producers better manage drought and climate impacts, with research, development and extension projects facilitated by the Queensland Drought Mitigation Centre.

Environment

Long Paddock provides climate science resources to support the agriculture sector to improve decision-making in a variable and changing climate.

Environment

Queensland Future Climate Dashboard provides climate projection data and other risk assessment resources for the agriculture sector.

Environment

Vegetation management legislation has increased the proception of high-value regrowth and remnant vegetation.

Industry Development

Queensland Mining Equipment, Technology and Services 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan supports growth of the sector.

Industry development

Queensland new-industry development strategy supports seizing the opportunities that global decarbonisation brings for Queensland.

Industry development

Queensland Hydrogen Investor Toolkit - Resources to assist investors planning to undertake hydrogen project developments in Queensland. Hydrogen industry development site provides information of the Queensland Hydrogen Strategy and development fund

Manufacturing

Queensland Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan provides an integrated approach to positioning Queensland as a leader in advanced manufacturing and to capture the opportunities associated with Industry 4.0.

Manufacturing

Queensland manufacturing hubs provide a place for local manufacturing businesses to receive expert advice and support to transition to advanced manufacturing.

Renewable Energy Development

Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund Designed to increase Government Owned Corporations' ownership of commercial renewable energy and hydrogen projects (and supporting infrastructure). Projects may be in partnership with private sector companies.

Renewable Energy Development

ARENA Microgrid Pilots program supports pilot demonstrations of microgrid technologies in rural and regional Australia. Supports feasible projects that demonstrate solutions to technical, regulatory or commercial barriers to the deployment of microgrid technologies.

Renewable Energy Development

Renewable energy project planning and approvals site provides links and guidance for development of renewable energy projects (solar and wind). Includes link to Solar Farm Guidelines: Guidance for local governments.

Renewable Energy Development

Climate action for Business and Industry provides a guide to actions a business can take to increase profitability and capitalise on future opportunities and become more sustainable and manage climate risk

Renewable Energy Development

Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy and Hydrogen Taskforce to support the development, production, consumption and export of hydrogen from Queensland.

Renewable Energy Development

Implementing the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan (QEJP) which will include:

Renewable Energy Development

Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan provides Queensland’s vision for the sector as well as providing industry insights and achievements.

Renewable Energy Development

Queensland Biofuels mandate sets out minimum requirements for the sale of biobased petrol and biobased diesel.

Resources

Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan supports new economy minerals, circular economy in mining and the development of Queensland’s battery industry strategy.

Resources

New Economy Minerals Initiative:

  • invests in exploration activities to improve the scientific understanding of geosciences data needed by industry to locate and define mineral deposits
  • includes a partnership with UQ’s Sustainable Minerals Institute to develop sustainable methods of extracting rare earth elements.
  • includes how circular economy principles can be applied in mining.

Resources

Bowen Basin Gas Pipeline concept study to reduce fugitive emissions in the coal sector.

Resources

Collaborative Exploration Initiative provides funding for new exploration programs.

Resources

Queensland Mining Equipment, Technology and Services 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan provides a vision for the sector’s growth, with a focus on collaboration and opportunities to bring innovative ideas to market, with $8 million worth of initiatives.

Resources

Queensland Resource Industry Development Plan provides a vision to shift the resources industry into recognising the global shift to a low carbon economy.

Skills & Training

Hydrogen Industry Workforce Development Roadmap 2022-2032 prepares Queenslanders to participate in hydrogen opportunities and ensure the industry can access the workers it needs.

Skills & Training

Advanced Manufacturing Skills: A Skills, Training and Workforce Development Strategy for the Advanced Manufacturing Industry in Queensland supports the development workforce skills in the sector.

Skills & Training

Manufacturing Skills Queensland was established through the Future Skills Fund to support current and new manufacturing workers.

Skills & Training

Advanced Manufacturing Gateway to Industry Schools project. Partnership with the Queensland Manufacturing Institute.

Skills and Training Queensland's Clean Energy Workforce Roadmap provides direction to further develop Queensland's highly skilled workforce to support the continued growth of the state's clean energy industry.

Skills & Training

Vocational education and training programs provide targeted investment to assist industry and employers train and upskill their current and future workforce.

Transport

Zero Emission Vehicle strategy and Action Plan sets out initiatives to be progressed over the next 2 years to increase zero emission vehicle uptake across Queensland communities, businesses, and government fleets.

Transport

The Future is Electric: Queensland’s Electric Vehicle Strategy will prepare for a transition to a greater uptake of EVs ensuring that Queensland is in the best position to capture the benefits and opportunities that these vehicles bring.

Transport

Queensland Electric Super Highway connects electric vehicle drivers across our state and includes fast charging locations to a range of coastal and inland locations.

Transport

Climate Change Risk Assessments for Infrastructure Projects expansion to improve the sustainability and climate resilience of transport infrastructure, through reducing whole-of-life emissions.

Transport

Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure outlines the principals for planning electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Priority Development Areas in Qld, to support the selection of the right type of infrastructure at the right location.

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.

Further resources

Decarbonisation stories in Queensland

Read about the work already underway on our news page.

Last updated: 26 Mar 2024