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Sunshine powerhouse: The best really is yet to come for Queensland's economy

Business

Queensland could experience a pace of economic growth similar to the mining boom over the next decade with private sector investment jumping to $1.3 trillion if the state seized the opportunities, according to a report commissioned by the ANZ bank.

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That level of investment would be $230 billion more than the business as usual case.

The report, written by Adept Economics and Conus Consultancy, said the seizing the opportunity scenario would mean the state’s economy would increase by 46 per cent by 2032-33, well above 31 per cent in the business as usual case.

Gross state product (the state’s economy) would increase by $68 billion to $643 billion under the scenario.

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott said there would be challenges but the bank was optimistic about Queensland where the company was currently in the middle of a $4.9 billion takeover of Suncorp’s banking arm.

“Providing the infrastructure for more sustainability-based sectors, managing the workforce pressures of both population growth and the movement of populations following the opportunity, and attracting the private sector investment are all vital,” Elliott said.

“Now that would require a focus on particular growth sectors and around $1.3 trillion of private sector investment over the 10 years to the Olympics in 2032.

“But seizing the opportunity sees Queensland building on its strengths and benefiting from the transition to a net zero future, new technology in agriculture and even the shift to a more mobile work force giving new economy workers the chance to live in the Sunshine State.”

ANZ head of corporate finance Darren Bradfield said the challenge would be people, specifically getting the right people, with the right skills.

The opportunities were in critical minerals, green hydrogen, energy generation and storage and skilled labour.

But it would need competitive taxes, addressing housing supply, improving education and innovative financing.

Report co-author Gene Tunny said project approvals had to change and different value judgements were probably needed on environmental issues affecting development.

But he said that if successful, the state could see investment similar to the mining boom.

The report also cited several hurdles.

“There is also the ongoing challenge of building housing and transport and other infrastructure for an ever-expanding population,” it said.

Queensland Futures Institute chief executive Steve Greenwood said there was too much reluctance from governments to make long term decisions.

“We talk a lot about the Olympics and I think that’s the opportunity, to promote what we are about and what we stand for, ” he said.

He said the regions would be delivering a large part of the growth.

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