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Investing in Queensland

Topics on trade and investment for Queensland business, including importing, exporting and benefits of establishing a business here.

Queensland offers a range of business advantages including a stable economy, supportive government, and a solid growth forecast. Queensland's low operating costs, highly skilled workforce and strategic Asia-Pacific location create an attractive investment destination.

Queensland's stable and pro-business economy

Queensland's pro-business economic environment and forecast growth offers investors a safe, long-term investment climate within a stable and resilient economy.

By relocating to Queensland, you will benefit from:

  • a competitive tax environment
  • a growing, diverse economy
  • solid population growth.

About Queensland's economy

Economic indicators for Queensland

Economic indicator Queensland figures
Population (at 31 March 2019) 5.074 million
Population growth (to 31 March 2019) 1.8%
Gross state product (current prices, 2017-18) $349 million
Real gross state product annual growth (2017-18) 3.4%
Trend employment growth (September 2019) 2.4%
Trend unemployment rate (September 2019) 6.6%
Annual CPI inflation (June 2009, Brisbane) 1.7%
International exports of goods (year to August 2019) $87.4 billion
International imports of goods (year to June 2017) $39.2 billion

Economic growth

Economic growth in Queensland is forecast to strengthen from 2.75% in 2017-18 to 3% in 2018-19.


Queensland's largest export market was China, taking 32.9% of the state's exports by value, and injecting $28.7 billion into the Queensland economy last financial year. The state's largest merchandise export destinations (by value) in the year to April 2016 were China, Japan, South Korea and India.

Population growth

Queensland's population is projected to increase to over 6 million by 2030.

Queensland percentage of employment by industry

During June quarter 2019, the highest percentage of total employment in Queensland was recorded in the health care and social assistance industry (14%).  The highest percentage of total employment in Australia was also in health care and social assistance (13.2%).

Find more information on Queensland's employment by industry.

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Land for industrial development

Strategic areas of land (state development areas) for industry, infrastructure corridors and major public works have been established by the Queensland Government to promote economic development, build wealth and generate jobs.

Learn more about Queensland's state development areas.

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Low business costs in Queensland

Businesses in Queensland enjoy many advantages, including low set-up and running costs. For example, Queensland can offer your business or investment:

  • low business taxes (including the lowest rate of payroll tax in Australia)
  • economical commercial and industrial property costs
  • competitive utility costs
  • low office rental costs
  • low workers' compensation premiums.

These cost advantages make Queensland an internationally competitive location for your business.

Taxation in Queensland in 2019-20 is estimated to be $643 per person less than the average of other Australian states and territories. Queensland's low business costs offer you a strong destination for business and investment.

Payroll tax

At just 4.75%, Queensland companies pay the lowest rate of payroll tax in Australia. In addition, this tax is not required to be paid until the total wages and salaries of a company exceed $1.3 million each year.

In addition to being exempt from payroll tax, the government provides a rebate on payroll tax on the wages of eligible apprentices and trainees. This measure recognises that apprenticeships and traineeships provide a great employment pathway, particularly for younger Queenslanders.

You can use these payroll tax calculators to work out how much your business can expect to pay.

Comparison of payroll tax rates and thresholds (as at 1 July 2015)

State or territory Tax rate (%) Exemption threshold
Queensland 4.75 $1,300,000
Victoria (metropolitan employers) 4.85 $650,000
Victoria (regional employers) 2.425 $650,000
South Australia 4.95 $1,500,000
New South Wales 5.45 $750,000
Western Australia 5.50 $800,000
Northern Territory 5.50 $1,500,000
Tasmania 4.0 $1,250,000
Tasmania 6.1 $2,000,000
Australian Capital Territory 6.85 $1,850,000

Queensland's highly skilled workforce

Queensland has a highly skilled, motivated and employment-ready workforce, with a large number of bilingual speakers. Our enviable lifestyle and low cost of living attract skilled international workers, particularly from the Asia-Pacific region making it possible for companies to retain valuable employees.

Your business or investment will benefit from Queensland's increasing number of skilled professionals in our workforce.

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Queensland's reliable infrastructure

The Queensland Government is continuously upgrading hard infrastructure (including roads and energy networks) while also supporting soft infrastructure development (e.g. research and development, and innovation) - the key to growing a knowledge-based economy.

Queensland's commitment to strong and up-to-date infrastructure offers your business or investment many benefits, including:

  • a stable environment that caters for Queensland's growing population
  • opportunities to tender for a range of infrastructure projects.

Learn more about the State infrastructure plan and Capital Program for 2020.

The Queensland Government remains committed to delivering key infrastructure and rural economic development initiatives to ensure regional Queensland remains sustainable, liveable and prosperous.

Learn more about regional development.

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Innovation, research and development in Queensland

Queensland has been recognised by the World Bank as a global innovation hot spot. Our investment in high-end research capacity has seen some of the world's best scientists and researchers attracted to Queensland.

Technology, research and innovation in Queensland

Queensland has become a hub of research and innovation, making it one of the easiest places to do business in Australia. As a business owner or investor in Queensland, you are encouraged to undertake research and development (R&D) and innovation activities, and can access a range of support services at every stage of the innovation process.

Find out about the support services available for science and research in Queensland, including international science partnerships.

Since 1998, the Queensland Government has invested $3.6 billion in R&D and innovation, supporting 40 new research institutes and more than 300 research-related projects, scholarships and fellowships. This has led to the number of scientists in Queensland growing to over 19,800 in the past decade. Among these are world-class researchers in fields such as translational therapies and neuroscience who have established cutting-edge research clusters in Queensland.

Support for business innovation

There is continuing support for innovation and business growth in Queensland, with the Queensland Government investing in research infrastructure, business innovation and scientific talent to ensure Queensland stays at the forefront of high-end research.

The Queensland Government also aims to increase by 50% the number of businesses undertaking R&D or innovation by 2020.

Find out about Queensland's R&D Investment Strategy 2010-2020 (PDF, 2.2MB).

Intellectual property (IP) protection

Protecting your intellectual property is vital to the success of your business. Australia has uniform national IP laws that respect and protect IP rights. Through IP legislation that reflects international best practice, Australian-based businesses and industries can benefit from the most comprehensive protection available.

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Queensland's idyllic lifestyle

Queensland is multicultural, vibrant and diverse, with many people visiting and migrating from other parts of Australia and across the world. The diversity of the state also makes Queensland a great place for you to do business or invest on a local and global scale.

There are many benefits to living in Queensland, including:

  • Safe, secure and family-focused communities
  • affordable housing
  • subtropical climate with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year
  • world-renowned beaches, national parks, rainforests and reefs
  • world class education systems and public health services.

Australia's quality of life rates highly on the world scale, exceeding that of the United States, the United Kingdom and many of our Asia-Pacific neighbours.

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