Growing Queensland's Regional Cities as Economic Hubs

Client: Queensland Futures institute

State: QLD


AEC was engaged by the Queensland Futures Institute (QFI) to undertake a comprehensive study and deliver recommendations for consideration by Government and Councils regarding the purpose, requirements, and how benefits are realised from regional economic hubs.

The study involved:

  • Development of a visual report card benchmarking the state and scope of current challenge areas for all Queensland Councils

  • Identification of key success factors, gaps, activities, and policy settings required to support regional economic hub establishment and growth in Queensland

  • Comparison of roles that are played by all levels of government and other stakeholder to achieve regional economic growth against best practice learnings from other jurisdictions

  • Providing practical and relevant recommendations that can be facilitated by QFI and stakeholders to crystallise the benefits from a regional economic hub strategy

  • Informing the policy development program of QFI in relation to regional economic hub strategy and key messaging

  • Engaging with stakeholders to build acceptance and participation in the longer-term program.

Part of the study also involved identifying further work required to build a defensible policy platform, to support initiatives in this arena. It was identified that there are opportunities to develop a distributed network approach to modelling current gaps in the economic development space; a model which has not yet been developed for Australia. This was recognised as an essential component of the process to identify opportunities for regional economic development. The model will reveal where resources should be directed - into areas which support and improve connectivity and reliance between sectors. As such, Stage 2 of the project will involve a ‘systems mapping project’ for regional economic hubs to identify critical areas for economic and social policy focus. This stage will also involve identification of short-term policy opportunities off the back of the model findings, as well as identification of measurement targets for success.