Queensland a boom state thanks to resources

THE investment boom is firing on only two cylinders – the boom states of Western Australia and Queensland – with the resource industry largely to thank, says Access Economics.
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BMA central Queensland coal mines. Courtesy BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance.

Angie Tomlinson

In its December Investment Monitor, Access Economics said investment in the rest of the country was still growing, but at a far more modest rate than that of the two boom states.

For New South Wales, investment has been rising but is well off the pace set by the rest of the country.

In WA the outperformance is due entirely to the resources boom and the infrastructure requirements to support it. In Queensland the investment surge is more broadly based.

“Investment Monitor data shows a very strong agenda of projects in planning in WA and Queensland, which suggests the current lopsided investment boom may continue for another two years or so.”

New projects in Queensland have been led by coal, including Anglo Coal’s thermal opencut prospect southwest of Gladstone and Aquila Resources’ exploration to assess developing three longwall mines in the Bowen Basin.

By sector, investment is led by mining, metals and economic infrastructure projects, with many infrastructure projects such as ports, power stations and railways providing direct support for resource investment.

In Queensland railways and ports are attracting big dollars, led by Queensland Rail’s $1 billion Southern Missing Rail Link project.

Power stations are also on the agenda, including CS Energy’s Kogan Creek facility and Origin Energy’s Spring Gully power station.

There is also action at the ports with feasibility studies ongoing into a coal loading/export terminal at Kooragang Island and an expansion of BHP’s Hay Point coal terminal in Queensland.

Work currently being carried out at ports includes the upgrade of the RG Tanner coal terminal at the Port of Gladstone and Babcock & Brown starting work on the $1.2 billion first stage expansion of the Dalrymple Bay coal terminal.

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