Queensland, meanwhile, is feeling the squeeze from the global coal supply glut, and is looking over a cliff beyond the next surge of revenue from LNG projects. Coal accounts for 43% of Queensland’s total export revenue, and with its value sliding steadily, the state’s budget deficit has ballooned 20% since the last fiscal update.
This region, along with iron ore-rich Western Australia, is exhibiting the first symptoms of Australia’s broader budget pain. Like the rest of the country, beefing up the tourism, agriculture and education sectors is seen as a long-term solution.
A spoonful of sugar is sweetening the medicine of regime change. The flagship development at Queen’s Wharf, Brisbane, enjoys the support of the new government, and a final decision on the tender appears to still be on track for mid-2015. Sprawling, modern complexes will be crucial in Queensland’s attempt to capture a share of the 200 million Chinese tourists expected to travel abroad by 2020. As a developed region on Asia’s doorstep, brimming with white-sand beaches and lush rainforests, Queensland has obvious natural advantages. For continued investment, however, international developers will need more than a lovely landscape.