Positioned to meet Major Growth Areas
Deloittes have identified five key industries that will underpin economic growth in Australia. The Rockhampton Region is strategically positioned to support these growth areas and the subsidiary pocket industries that will evolve as a result of these industries.
The Rockhampton Region is pivotal to the wider Central Queensland agricultural powerhouse, the second largest contributor by value of agricultural commodities in Queensland.
The region is dominated by beef cattle production and supports grain-fed and irrigated cropping, horticulture and forestry. Meat processing facilities located in Rockhampton are substantial in scale and contribute significantly to the regional economy and State exports. The agriculture industry is stable, united and productive and operates under best management practice.
New investment is being sought to extend the capacity and productivity of Central Queensland’s agricultural sector in response to increased global demand for its commodities. Central Queensland has strong capability in food production with highly productive livestock and cropping. Efficient processing infrastructure underpins opportunities for expansion, particularly in intensive agriculture, horticulture and for growth and diversification of water resources.
Central Queensland’s climate, soil quality and general environmental attributes are highly suited to broad acre and intensive agriculture. The Fitzroy Basin is the largest catchment flowing to Australia’s eastern seaboard and reinforces the region’s agricultural production. The Fitzroy, Dawson, Nogoa, Mackenzie and Isaac-Connors river systems provide excellent water security. Central Queensland has existing water resources and guaranteed allocation on medium and high priority water under the Fitzroy Resource Operations Plan.
Irrigated agriculture on soils in Central Queensland can produce a gross value of production of between AUD$0.5 million and AUD$1.2 million per gigalitre of water used for broad acre crops. High value crops can generate over AUD$10 million. The Fitzroy Water Resource Plan has identified an additional 500 gigalitres of water for consumptive use (urban, industrial, agricultural) which could potentially be available subject to development of water storages proposed for the Basin, while still maintaining its environmental health.
The region’s transport networks and infrastructure play a pivotal role in the productivity of the agricultural sector with freight transported by road, rail, sea and air. The Port of Gladstone and Port Alma facilitate international export trade and provide closer access to international markets than many other agricultural hubs in Australia.
Free Trade agreements with key international markets support increased market share for these industries.
Additional value add and food processing.
The proposed Arrow Bowen Pipeline (ABP) is a buried high-pressure steel pipeline to bring coal seam gas from the Bowen Basin to a gas hub 88km from Rockhampton. The Rockhampton Region is ideally located to house services and personnel for the duration of construction.
Extensive exploration is underway in the Central Queensland footprint. Future pipeline extensions are highly likely, with Rockhampton placed to support a long term gas services industry.
As the gateway to the Southern Great barrier Reef, the Rockhampton Airport has existing international capacity and operates with 3 domestic carriers supporting increased visitor flow to new developments. City Centre and Riverfront redevelopments have changed the landscape, supported by key events and one of Australia’s most significant heritage precincts.
The strength of the Region’s arts, music and indigenous heritage offer opportunities for growth as visitors seek a more interactive cultural tourism experience. The growing music and arts scene is supporting business growth in this area.
The region is home to world class education facilities that can support significant growth. This includes Queensland’s only dual sector university. CQU has one of the largest footprints of any tertiary education institutions in Australia with 25 campuses in Australia alone and in multiple countries abroad.
The university currently hosts 35,000 students enrolled across its campuses as well as supporting distance education. Both the university and private schools offer international students competitively priced world class education with international students comprising 30% of enrolments.
Rockhampton is the third largest regional provider of long distance commuters to the resources sector in Australia, bringing families from across Central and West Queensland into the region regularly.
Close connections to other major industries. Superannuation fund trends indicate a movement towards the business of agriculture and resources – offering larger returns over longer periods.
The proximity to these markets and the knowledge base of our financial brokers offer opportunity for wealth management investors to tap into this knowledge base and to diversify their portfolio in line with industry growth.