Jul 08, 2016

Report reveals recipe for $10 billion growth spurt

Report reveals recipe for $10 billion growth spurt

The agriculture and transport and logistics sectors will play a vital role in assisting the Toowoomba and Surat Basin region reach $10 billion of growth by 2030, according to a new report.

The preliminary report has been released from the Regional Australia Institute’s (RAI) Pathfinder Project which sought to identify the key industries driving growth opportunities for the future of the region.

The RAI collaboratively delivered the project with partners Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE), QGC, Australia Pacific LNG and Regional Development Australia Darling Downs and South West (RDA), along with support from the Western Downs and Maranoa regional councils.

“The report delivered reconfirms the validity of economic development work done to date in the region,” TSBE chief executive officer Dr Ben Lyons said.

“Further to this, the report also reinforces the crucial part transport and logistics and our agriculture sector will play in the region’s future.”

The report outlined that with agriculture the leading industry for all three local government areas, targeted investment and collaborative co-ordination to build local capacity was key to unlocking the sector’s future prosperity.

The region’s logistical assets, such as the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport, were also identified as key factors for the region’s future success, however the report highlighted that simply having the infrastructure was not enough.

“In order to guarantee we capitalise on the maximum potential presented by the region’s transport and logistics infrastructure, co-ordination from both the public and private sector players is a must,” Dr Lyons said.

“A key part of this will be ensuring we can secure upgraded rail infrastructure for this region.”

TSBE and RDA, along with the project partners, local government representatives and key stakeholders, will now review the actions outlined in the report for prioritisation.