25 May, 2021 09:36

SOURCE : Townsville Bulletin, DAN KNOWLES

QUEENSLAND has a wealth of opportunities for future growth across the state, according to analysis done by Urbis.

With the depth of Queensland’s natural resources, diversity of its regions and the strengths of its lifestyle brand, city and community-shaping experts Urbis has uncovered 10 top drivers for long-term growth and prosperity:

1. Sustained investment in transport infrastructure, building connectivity, supply-chain resilience and export capability: Ports of Gladstone and Townsville, the Inland Rail network, intermodal freight terminals, Brisbane Metro, Cross River Rail, expansion of the Gold Coast Light Rail and the Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade, and upgrades proposed to the M1.

2. Focus on renewable and clean energy with $145 million to establish renewable energy zones across northern, central and southern Queensland complemented by the $500 million Renewable Energy Fund to catalyse renewable energy projects. Commitment to clean energy sources including accelerating the hydrogen industry anchored by the $20 million training centre of excellence in Beenleigh.

3. Growth of digital and dataintensive sectors enabled by rollout of high-speed digital networks, delivery of Starlink and connection of the submarine cable to the Sunshine Coast. Associated establishment of Cyber Security Innovation Nodes in Brisbane, Townsville and the Sunshine Coast and a Tier-III Pulse Data Centre in Toowoomba.

4. Focus on intensifying health knowledge and expanding biomedical research and innovation capabilities leveraging the expansion of clusters in Southeast Queensland (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast) and North Queensland (Townsville, Cairns).

5. Continued expansion of defence sector and associated advanced manufacturing (avionics, space and spatial industries) hubs in Cairns, Townsville, Shoalwater Bay and Ipswich.

6. Increased focus on strategic productive and lifestyle precincts including major new development opportunities at Roma Street Station and Woolloongabba in Brisbane, and Townsville Rail Yards.

7. Expansion of regional lifestyle opportunities including the $175 million Wellcamp Entertainment Precinct in Toowoomba and the redevelopment of the Great Barrier Reef Arena in Mackay.

8. Emergence of a globally significant creative industries and film production hub – Gold Coast and Redlands.

9. Long-term investment in the talent pipeline and growth in export of specialist talent. Nine new state schools statewide funded by the expanded Building Future Schools Fund. Focus on marine and maritime research and training (Townsville, Cairns, Gold Coast).

10. The potential of Brisbane as the preferred candidate for the 2032 Olympics building momentum and confidence for the state.