Invest in Western Downs

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Overview

Investment Opportunities 

Business is booming in the Western Downs and it’s not just us who think so, we’ve been crowned one of Australia's fastest growing regional economies over the past five years. The stats speak for themselves with a growing Gross Regional Product (GRP) thanks to the energy, construction, agriculture and manufacturing industries flourishing within our borders.

The Western Downs is trademarked the “Energy Capital of Queensland”, and has the industry to prove it with coal mining, coal seam gas, wind and solar renewable energy facilities. Further expansion of coal seam gas and renewable energy projects throughout the region form part of the next wave of energy development, and promises to keep the uplift in regional development alive in the Western Downs.

Retail developments outside the energy space further evidence on-going investment in the Western Downs with retail heavy-weights, Bunnings Warehouse and Aldi Supermarket, taking leaseholds in Dalby.

  

Agriculture

Agriculture is at the heart of the Western Downs economy and not just because it employs the second largest Western Downs workforce. In fact, agriculture from the Western Downs earns its place as Queensland's largest producer of pigs, sorghum, wheat, oats, barley and mung beans.

Agriculture is a founding pillar of our economy and continues to hold its place with a longstanding reputation for being resilient, sustainable and modern. It’s no coincidence the industry is thriving, given the fact the Western Downs holds some of Queensland's most productive and resource rich soils to support broad acre farming and livestock production. In fact, more than 50% of the agricultural land in the region is classified as strategic cropping land.

Beyond crops, the Western Downs' beef production is the largest economic contributor to the agricultural sector, with almost one-quarter of Queensland's beef producing properties located in the Western Downs. The numbers reflect this - each year approximately 200,000 cattle are sold through the Dalby Regional Saleyards, making it the largest same-day prime and store cattle yards in Australia.

Agriculture is accessible with the Western Downs thanks to a road, rail and air network, which enables connectivity to both domestic and international markets, agricultural machinery, supplies and support services.

Council have identified the following opportunities for for further investigation:

  • Abattoir
  • Agricultural Support Services
  • Aquaponics
  • Drone Services
  • Poultry Farm
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Agri-tourism
  • Cannery
  • Export
  • Value-Add products

Investment Prospectuses and Factsheets

Agriculture Investment Prospectus

Construction Investment Prospectus

Intensive Animal Infrastructure Factsheet(PDF, 997KB)

Hear from one of our local businesses: Tara Rural Supplies

Retail

If you’re one for a spending-spree, beware – the shopping is great on the Western Downs. You’ll find shopping centres, cute boutiques tucked away behind tree-lined streets and speciality stores with street frontage.

It’s not just small retailers making the move west – the opening of Bunnings Warehouse and Aldi Supermarket in Dalby demonstrate continued retail growth within the community.

These flagship stores not only serve the Western Downs communities but service the western market incorporating Maranoa and Balonne regions, supporting a movement towards seeing the Western Downs as retail destinations for the west.

The retail experience in the Western Downs has a hospitality scene to match, with quaint eateries that turn up the country charm with some of the best cooking this side of the Great Dividing Range.

With a growing population, the Western Downs has potential for further development in the retail sector, with the opportunity for new businesses to take on affordable, prime real estate sites.

We have identified the following opportunities worthy of further investigation:

  • Big Box Retailers
  • Franchises
  • National Retail Chains
  • Start-ups and Entrepreneurship
  • Boutique Specialty Stores
  • Identifying Public/Private Partnerships
  • Pop-up Shops
  • Transition from Homebased Business to Shopfront

Investment Prospectus and Factsheet

Retail Investment Prospectus

Retail Industry Factsheet(PDF, 2MB)

Hear from some of our local businesses:

Chinchilla Farmers Market

 

Bunnings Dalby

 

Health

Access to health services is an essential component of any thriving community.

Western Downs Regional Council believes in developing a region where residents can age in place, rather than leave their hometowns to access primary health care services.

To support its vision, Western Downs Regional Council partners with aged care and retirement facilities, together with supporting health services and allied services.

There is demand for expansion of health services in the region and opportunities for further investment in both allied and primary health care service. We believe the Western Downs is well positioned to attract quality health service providers.

To ensure this can be realised, the Western Downs Planning Scheme has identified health precincts to allow for the co-location of public and private health infrastructure.

Council has identified the following opportunities worthy of further investigation:

  • After hours GP services
  • Drug and Alcohol Services
  • Exercise Physiologists
  • NDIS Support Services
  • Allied Health
  • Early Intervention
  • Government Health Agencies
  • Retirement Villages/Aged Care Facilities

Investment Prospectus and Factsheet

Health Investment Prospectus

Health Industry Factsheet(PDF, 663KB)

Hear from some of our local businesses:

Better Movement Clinic

Vital Health

 

Manufacturing

Where there is energy and agriculture in abundance, there is demand for manufacturing. So it goes without saying an innovative manufacturing industry is alive and well in the Western Downs.

The region's geographic location, positioned at the centre of a comprehensive transport network, enables great connectivity to markets, supplies and support services

Combine this with export opportunities thanks to Queensland's only dedicated 747-8F International Freighter Service (ex Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport) and the Toowoomba Bypass, which provides direct access to the Port of Brisbane, and you can see why.

Throw into the decision-mix the fact industrial land is both available and affordable, it makes the decision for manufacturing companies to relocate and establish in our region an easy one.

Council have identified the following opportunities worthy of further investigation:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Custom Manufacturing (fabrication)
  • Food Product Manufacturing
  • Advanced Renewable Energy Component Manufacturing value add
  • Drones value add
  • Research and Development Facilites

Investment Prospectus and Factsheet

Manufacturing Investment Prospectus

Manufacturing Industry Factsheet(PDF, 1MB)

Hear from some of our local businesses:

Yuleba Cypress Sawmills

Simplicity Australia

Energy

The Western Downs is proudly trademarked the Energy Capital of Queensland, with coal, gas, solar and wind operations in region.

What’s fuelling the energy sector’s growth is the combination of the Western Downs’ geography and environmental conditions, along with existing transmission infrastructure. This has meant there are opportunities for energy providers to interstate connectors and transmission lines.

As a result, the region is a prime destination for renewable energy (specifically solar and wind farms), and has seen the development and construction of several solar farms. The expansion continues with the Coopers Gap Wind Farm operations, Dulacca Renewable Energy Project under construction and Wambo Wind Farm on the horizon.

Australia’s demand for energy is being met by the Western Downs’ supply and continued growth has prompted another wave of development and expansion of existing projects throughout the region.

To ensure a prosperous future in energy, Council has identified the following areas worthy of further investigation:

  • ARENA funding support for research and demonstration projects
  • Biogas and Biofuel projects, including the development of partnerships
  • Gas exploration and expansion
  • Battery Storage
  • Further power generation
  • Renewable Energy farms

Investment Prospectuses and Factsheets

Mining and Energy Investment Prospectus

Construction Investment Prospectus

Mining and Energy Resources Factsheet(PDF, 1004KB)

Renewable Energy Factsheet(PDF, 882KB)

What are Resources worth to the Western Downs? Factsheet(PDF, 287KB)

Hear from one of our local businesses: APA Darling Downs Solar Farm

Tourism

The Western Downs is a gateway to Outback Australia, promising a delightful cocktail of country and city life.

Growing the drive tourism industry makes sense, when the Western Downs is strategically located at the intersection of two major state highways and traversed by three long-haul drive touring routes.

Have you considered the Western Downs as a weekend escape? When travelling from Brisbane, you'll arrive in our region faster than a trip to Byron Bay.

If travelling from Brisbane, it’s faster for visitors to reach the Western Downs than Byron Bay, providing opportunities to market the Western Downs as a weekend escape from Brisbane.

Natural assets and diverse landscapes are what draw visitors to the Western Downs, with the promise of ancient pines at the Bunya Mountains, state forests, national parks, a major river system, fossils and plenty of open spaces to choose your own adventure.

Visitors are guaranteed an authentic taste of country culture, best explored through one of the diverse events across the region.

The Western Downs Regional Council has identified the following opportunities for the tourism industry focused on short break, events, short and long-haul drives and business events.

For more information, visit www.westerndownsqueensland.com.au.

Regional Festivals and Events:

Further Resources

Additional information on establishing and operating businesses on the Western Downs can be found below.

Establish your business in the Western Downs

Western Downs Development Status Report 2022

Doing Business in the Western Downs

Live Western Downs

Transport and Logistics Investment Prospectus

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