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From the southern islands of the Great Barrier Reef to the outback towns of Birdsville and Boulia, Central Queensland straddles the Tropic of Capricorn from east to west. Major centres of Gladstone, Rockhampton, Emerald, Yeppoon and Longreach along with the smaller communities of Barcaldine, Winton, Biloela, Blackall and Tambo service strong resources, agriculture, education, health and tourism industries. The region is Australia’s largest beef producer while the Gladstone Port is one of the country’s largest bulk commodity ports, exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG), coal and other resources and agricultural products around the world.

The eastern region produces over 50% of Australian pineapples while the west supports the country’s largest organic beef producers. The region's fertile lands also grow significant grains, citrus, nuts and other agricultural products.

Population

236,011 (2018) – expected to increase to 275,552 by 2036.

Employment

Labour force 127,316

Strengths

  • Queensland’s largest multi-commodity port at Gladstone
  • largest beef herd of any region in Australia
  • significant coking, PSI and thermal coal production
  • significant minerals processing
  • tertiary education and private secondary boarding schools
  • tourism including access to the southern Great Barrier Reef, outback heritage tourism and iconic events including the Big Red Bash and Birdsville races, paleo and indigenous tourism experiences
  • internationally recognised defence Shoalwater Bay training area
  • heavy lift capability and international standard runway at Rockhampton airport
  • strong and reliable electricity generation (including renewables), transmission and distribution network
  • 28 000 hectares of state development land adjacent to the Port of Gladstone
  • large reliable water supply for industry and development
  • sub-tropical climate
  • access to natural gas transmission network

Main industries

  • agriculture
  • construction
  • energy production (coal and renewables)
  • fisheries and aquaculture
  • horticulture
  • manufacturing
  • mining and minerals processing
  • outback and reef tourism
  • transport

Top 10 output industries – total regional output of $43.68 billion:

  • mining
  • manufacturing
  • construction
  • rental, hiring and real estate services
  • electricity, gas, water and waste services
  • transport, postal and warehousing
  • agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • health care and social assistance
  • education and training
  • public administration and safety

Top 10 employment industries – total regional employment 106 857 jobs:

  • health care and social assistance
  • retail trade
  • education and training
  • mining
  • construction
  • manufacturing
  • accommodation and food services
  • agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • public administration and safety
  • transport, postal and warehousing

Top 10 value add industries – total regional value add $20.40 billion:

  • mining
  • rental, hiring and real estate services
  • construction
  • transport, postal and warehousing
  • manufacturing
  • health care and social assistance
  • electricity, gas, water and waste services
  • education and training
  • agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • public administration and safety

High-level projects

  • hydrogen industry development
  • transport & logistics planning
  • major project supply chain development

Local content activities

View all upcoming events and opportunities in the region on the events page including:

  • workshops
  • mentoring services
  • industry briefings supporting businesses at all stages of project supply chains

Further information

Find out more about this diverse region or contact our Central Queensland regional office.