Brisbane, the capital city of the Australian state of Queensland, has a thriving mining and infrastructure sector, which bot the city and state is actively looking to expand by more than 150% over the next 10 years. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime build out in the mining [and] infrastructure sector,” said Stephen Silvester, the senior manager of investment attraction at Brisbane Marketing. “For companies looking to invest in Australia, this is their opportunity to be a part of it, and they cannot be a part of it unless they are in Australia at the moment.”
“Over the past few years, all the mining companies [were] planning various developments,” said Mr Silvester “We are starting to see this come into fruition. If you look at liquefied natural gas (LNG), we will become the largest exporter of LNG in the world by 2020.”
In February 2012 , as a way of attracting foreign companies, Brisbane’s mayor Graham Quirk announced the city’s 20-year plan to double the city's resource sector by 2031, which would make $217bn. The growth, which will boost job creation, would profit off the back of the state's resources boom.
Currently the world’s largest seaborne metallurgical coal exporter, Queensland’s resources sector has been a key driver of Australia’s economic growth. Brisbane Marketing, the city’s development agency, reported that since 2000, the value of the resources sector in Queensland has increased by 60% from $22.8bn to $36.5bn. With transport infrastructure investment in south-east Queensland predicted to be in excess of $10bn during the next five years, future growth will be driven by the $142bn currently invested in the resource project pipeline across Queensland.
“If you look at the way Queensland has performed as a state [compared to the rest of] Australia, for 18 of the past 21 years, we have outperformed the rest of the country, and this is all attributed to the mining sector,” said Mr Silvester. “While Australia’s [growth] is roughly 3%, Queensland’s [economy] will grow by 5% [in 2012] and 5.5% [in 2013]. Of this, Brisbane’s share in [terms of] gross regional product represents 47% of Queensland’s economy. It is the major centre of business. The way we position Brisbane is about the opportunity. We need to bring in capacity, and that is where our FDI strategy sits. Queensland is three times the size of Spain yet it has the population of Madrid. We do not have the capacity to service all these projects.”
Highlighting Brisbane’s appeal as a secure place to do business, Mr Silvester’s outlook on Brisbane and Australia’s economic prospects is bright. “What we will see this year is companies coming in [to Brisbane] to service the LNG sector. Companies can also come into [Australia] for an Asia-Pacific strategy. The one thing we are watching to see how it plays out is the government’s carbon tax, effective from July 1, 2012. This will bring a lot of opportunities in the renewable energy space. That will be the growth story for the future.”