Darling Downs, South West Queensland and Toowoomba
The Darling Downs (or Surat Basin), South West Queensland and
Toowoomba region covers an area of almost 400,000 square
kilometres or 23 per cent of Queensland’s total area. The region
has some of Queensland’s most diverse agricultural assets and
an abundance of coal, natural gas and other resource deposits.
In recent years, the region has experienced significant growth
in both the mining and gas industries, however agriculture
remains the largest industry in the area. The richness of the
soil in this region allows for successful farming across a broad
array of industries, including grains, livestock, cotton, dairy and
Toowoomba is the economic and commercial hub of the Darling
Downs and is on the cusp of a major 'growth spurt', with
much needed infrastructure being constructed or in planning,
a booming economy and continuing job growth. It services
a diversity of primary and secondary industries and plays a
significant role in the economic development of a large area of
southern and south western Queensland.
With a gross regional product (GRP) of AU$9.30 billion in 2015,
Toowoomba represents over 65 per cent of Surat Basin's GRP
of AU$14.16 billion.
Furthermore, forecasted to significantly boost the region's
economy is the recently built Wellcamp Airport and Business
Park. The airport offers direct flights to Sydney, Melbourne, and
Cairns and beyond, the airport is opening business, tourism,
and freight opportunities for the Toowoomba region.
Wide Bay Burnett Region
Extending north from the Sunshine Coast to Agnes Waters and
inland to the grazing areas of the Burnett, this region covers
approximately 50,000 square kilometres and has the largest
population of any region outside South East Queensland. Major
regional centres covered by the Wide Bay Burnett Region
include Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Bundaberg, Kingaroy and
Gympie. The region also encompasses some of Queensland’s
most popular destinations including the world heritage listed
Fraser Island, the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Sandy Wetlands,
the Bunya Mountains and Noosa National Park.
Historically, the Wide Bay Burnett region's key economic drivers
were the agriculture, fishing and tourism sectors, contributing
significantly to Queensland's agricultural production. However,
in recent years, the region's economy has diversified into
the aviation, advanced manufacturing, aquaculture, food
processing, marine, construction and service industries,
motivating change in the local economy and the region's
contribution to Queensland's prosperity.
Rockhampton, Gladstone, Fitzroy and Central West Qld
Covering almost 460,000 square kilometres, the Rockhampton,
Fitzroy and Central West region of Queensland stretches from
the Tropic of Capricorn coastal strip west to the Northern
Territory and South Australian borders.
Rockhampton is the largest city in the Central West Queensland
and is a key driver of the region’s economy, with agriculture
traditionally at the helm of its development. The city is known as
Australia's Beef Capital, and also produces significant crops of
grain, horticulture, citrus, grapes and cotton in the Fitzroy Basin.
While agriculture has long been a pillar of the Central West
Queensland economy, the resource sector is now becoming the
driving force of economic growth in the region.
Gladstone city is a hub of heavy industry and a key location for
large-scale mineral processing and chemical projects, boasting
world-class port facilities close to significant coal, gas, silica
sand and limestone resources.
Moreover, a large proportion of Queensland’s coal production,
agricultural production and the state’s electricity comes from the
Fitzroy and Central West region.
Local and global demand for mining and agricultural resources
continues to drive new investment opportunities in the region,
fortifying its relevance as a key Queensland economic catalyst.
Mackay, Isaac and the Whitsundays
The Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday region spans from Bowen in
the north, to St Lawrence in the south east, to the Whitsunday
Islands and west to the Belyando River. The economic growth
of the region is predominately due to the demand for natural
resources and continued tourism to the Whitsunday Islands and
The Great Barrier Reef.
The region contains substantial, high-quality natural resources
- particularly mineral resources and productive agricultural land.
The sugar, horticulture, cropping and grazing industries benefit
from this land structure.
Regional strengths centre on world demand for energy, Mackay
is Queensland’s premier coal region, producing 50 per cent of the
state’s coal. New activity in the Galilee Basin and opportunities
in alternative energy, fuels and bio-based industrial products will
see this area expand its coal interests to also become a leading
producer of bio-based products in the Asia-Pacific region by
The sugarcane industry has seen significant investment in
infrastructure in Mackay - the largest city in the region - with
four operational sugar mills and one of the largest bulk sugar
terminals in the world. In 2015-2016, Mackay had a AU$6.96
billion GRP largely due to its high sugar-producing capabilities.
The Whitsundays is one of the largest fruit and vegetable
growing regions in Australia, with the local industry supporting
thirteen major crop varieties, including tomatoes, capsicum and
corn, as well as sugarcane. It also boasts key port and marina
facilities to guarantee the future viability of the marine sector.
Section 2: Overview – Queensland, Australia
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