The Fitzroy and Central West region is diverse with rich natural, social and cultural assets that contribute to Australia's economy and play a critical role in the development of Northern Australia. Geographically, the region represents a quarter of Queensland’s land area and serves as the gateway to Northern Australia, with key transport and export hubs and a range of transport assets.
The Fitzroy and Central West region's economy has been driven by global demand for energy and food resources. The region produces almost one half of Queensland's electricity and its natural deep-water port in Gladstone is Queensland's largest multi-commodity port.
The Fitzroy and Central West region has a strong economic outlook with competitive- ness in mining and gas, vocational and tertiary education, advanced primary production, tourism, manufacturing, health and community services.
Agriculture - The region is home to a multi- million dollar agricultural industry, which represents almost one half of Queensland's total agricultural exports. Key commodities includes beef, cotton, herbs, grain and fruit. The Central West's beef industry is a leading export sector. Rockhampton houses two large export licensed abattoirs and one of the largest livestock sales facilities in Australia.
Mining and Resources - The Bowen Basin in Central Queensland is Australia's largest coal reserve and has 46 operational coal mines, extracting over 200 million tonnes of coal annually, which represents about 90 per cent of Queensland's coal production.
Proximity to the Bowen, Surat and Galilee Basins, with established freight and logistics infrastructure, position this region as a major hub for coal, energy and gas production. In
addition to coal and gas, the region is home to a large portion of the world's lead and zinc resources, as well as signiﬁcant reserves in silver, copper and gold.
Gladstone Port is the world's ﬁfth largest coal export port, facilitating over 30 per cent of Queensland's exports.
INNOVATIVE AND EMERGING INDUSTRIES
Tourism - Over the last decade, tourism has become an economic pillar for the Fitzroy and Central West region. From glorious and iconic landscapes in the west to the Great Barrier Reef in the east, there are signiﬁcant opportunities to further grow the tourism sector.
The Fitzroy and Central West region is part of the Outback Queensland and Southern Great Barrier Reef tourism markets and has experienced signiﬁcant visitation growth in recent years.
The region features a number of iconic tourism attractions including the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame, Qantas Founders' Museum, the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, Great Keppel Island and Capricorn
Caves. The region is also growing its tourism events market by building on the success of the Vision Splendid Film Festival, the Big Red Bash and the Birdsville Races.
Education and Research - Central Queensland is home to CQUniversity, one of the top 500 universities worldwide. With over 30,000 students (including almost 5200 international students in 2016), CQUniversity has established itself as a research-focused university with close collaboration and partnerships with industry and the community.
Continued expansion of the agriculture industry is driving demand for education, training and infrastructure projects in the Fitzroy and Central West region.
Signiﬁcant opportunities exist for direct investment in the region to add value to the mining sector and facilitate further expansion of the mineral corridor.