Brisbane poised to be regional powerhouse

Brisbane river and botanic gardens. | Newsreel
Brisbane is well positioned to become a regional powerhouse. | Photo: 4FR (IStock)

Brisbane has multiple advantages over other Australian capitals, as it eyes an economy that is tipped to approach $300 billion within a decade.

A State of the City report predicts that by 2031 the Queensland capital’s economy would have grown by more than a third over the preceding 10 years and be on track to hit $275 billion by 2041.

To put that in perspective, that is roughly the size of the economies of countries like Hungary and Kuwait today.

The Deloitte report produced for the Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA) highlighted key areas in which Brisbane had an advantage over the rest of the country.

It called out that the city had more innovation hubs per capita than other Australian capitals driving collaboration between the education, training and business sectors.

“Backed by top universities, talent and businesses, research and industry join forces to support end-to-end innovation at more than 140 innovation hubs throughout Brisbane – a concentration exceeding any other major Australian capital on a per capita basis,” the report said.

It said the city also had the highest growth of university graduates among the nation’s capital cities and more than 27 percent of working-age Queenslanders participated in training in 2022, the highest participation rate in the country.

“Brisbane is home to world-class universities and trade schools that fuel the city’s growing economy and priority sectors and offer businesses access to one of the best-qualified workforces in the world,” the report said.

There was also reference to Brisbane’s access to the Asia-Pacific region as a major competitive advantage.

“Proximity to the Asia Pacific means shipping from Brisbane to Tokyo is faster than any other major Australian port, and cheaper than any port on the east coast,” the report said.

“Exporters operating in Brisbane have a competitive advantage over those in other cities.”

It said major infrastructure projects were underway or planned across all modes of transport including a 1600km inland freight rail line terminating in Brisbane, which would further reduce costs and increase exports.

“The Port of Brisbane is planning the 224-hectare Future Port Expansion to boost capacity in line with population and business growth, with its unique location at the mouth of the river enabling one of the largest land reclamations in the southern hemisphere.”

It said the adjacent Brisbane Airport was a 24/7 ‘freight powerhouse’ with strong connections to the port and rail, and the largest runway capacity of any capital city in Australia, enabling it to service 374 destinations for airfreight.

BEDA CEO Anthony Ryan said Brisbane was a city that was activating economic opportunities for businesses and talent, achieving global distinction in emerging industries, and attracting investors from across the country and the world.

“Our city’s growth, capability, and competitive advantage position Brisbane as an economic powerhouse in the Asia Pacific.”

Read the full report.