Queensland export growth driven by coal, LNG and chickpeas

Queensland’s exports have broken more records, exceeding $68 billion over the year to July – an increase of 52 per cent, Queensland Premier the Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk said at the Queensland State of the State event.

“Growth in exports has been driven by coal, LNG, and crops – more noticeably chickpeas, which have now reached exports of $1.4 billion,” she said.

“It is worth thinking for a moment about the importance and potential of chickpeas.

“As India’s middle class continues to grow, the world’s largest vegetarian population will have an ever-increasing appetite for high quality protein – an appetite that Queensland chickpeas can help satisfy.”

Ms Palaszczuk said Queensland’s economy has returned to strong growth of 3.9 per cent – well ahead of the rest of the nation at 1.2 per cent and more than four times the growth rate of 0.8 per cent over the last year of the previous Government.

“These statistics paint a bright picture of where Queensland is today – and outline a path of where we can go, as an economically diverse, outward looking, socially-inclusive state,” she said.

“Our future success – and all the benefits that go with that – depends on all of us, as Queenslanders, ensuring our state is positioned to take full advantage of changing job trends, changing industries, and a changing international landscape.”

Ms Palaszczuk said there had been a lot of talk recently about investor confidence in the energy sector.

“I can tell you our message to the energy industry is clear – our Government-owned power assets will remain in public hands, and we will continue to push towards our 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030,” she said.

“I can tell you – and Malcolm Turnbull if he’s looking for some advice – the industry has responded to my government’s clear energy policy direction.

“In Queensland, we now have a $5 billion pipeline of private investment in renewable energy projects in this state that will support 3200 jobs and generate 5000 megawatts of clean energy.

“That 5000 megawatts is more than twice the theoretical capacity of the ageing and much debated Liddell power station in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.”


Ms Palaszczuk said the greatest new frontier within the renewable energy industry is battery technology.

“A few short years ago it would have been impossible to conceive the idea of suburban homes with rooftop PV panels being able to go off the grid with the aid of storage like the Tesla Powerwall,” she said.

“But today that technology is real and growing in efficiency and popularity every single day.

“My vision for Queensland is not simply as a beneficiary of this technology, but as a builder of it and as an exporter into Asia.

“That is why we are in talks with proponents and local councils in an effort to attract battery production factories here to Queensland, similar to the Tesla Gigafactory I visited in Nevada while on a US trade mission earlier this year.”

Ms Palaszczuk also highlighted the State Government’s work in one of Queensland’s traditional strengths – tourism.

“Brisbane will be the home base for half of Qantas’ fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners – $1 billion worth of aircraft, capable of reaching further than ever before across the Pacific, and bringing 470 new jobs to Queensland,” she said.

“In two and a half years, we have secured 735,000 extra international airline seats to Queensland, the latest of them being the first Brisbane-Beijing direct flights.

“This is not just about the South East – we’ve also seen recent announcements of new flights from Hainan and Guangzhou into Cairns, from later this year.

“Together with existing services from Hong Kong, this means that the Far North will be getting upwards of 3500 seats arriving every week from the Pearl River Delta in China.

“That industrious part of southern China is where 120 million people live in a 120 kilometre radius – with perhaps the fastest-growing middle class on earth.”