QFI carries out independent and rigorous analysis of Queensland specific challenges and opportunities – offering new ideas and proposals from the near to the long-term.

QFI carries out independent and rigorous analysis of Queensland specific challenges and opportunities – offering new ideas and proposals from the near to the long-term.

Policy recommendations are developed in collaboration with policymakers, experts and stakeholders. We regularly brief government officials, legislators and other decision-makers.

QFI owes no allegiance to any government or to any political body, and does not take institutional positions on policy issues. All research programmes and staff adhere to the QFI’s Principles for Independent Research Policy.

The QFI encourages all members to propose research projects relating to the future economic and societal development of Queensland for consideration by the Queensland Futures Council – please contact Steve Greenwood on steve.greenwood@qldfutures.com.au or 0488 721 156


better cities, better regions                          enhancing economic development policy


Over several decades, Queensland’s wealth base and key drivers of economic development have undergone significant change. A number of regional and remote areas face a range of challenges including low and declining populations; economic vulnerability due to reliance on a single industry sector and/or employer; capability and skill gaps; demographic and industry changes due to advancements in technology and other global trends; and dependency on local government (as the last provider) for services to preserve liveability.

    This study explored the current state and future improvement  opportunities, processes and structures required to develop more efficient, profitable and sustainable economic networks and policy frameworks across Queensland’s cities and regions. 

    Key Recommendations include:

    1. Quantify service provision across the State to inform policy and efficiency gains
    2. Refocus Queensland economic development frameworks on economic networks
    3. Integrate public and private sector in economic development planning and delivery
    4. Streamline existing grants and funds into fewer but more targeted buckets, with clearer, measurable outcomes
    5. Increase use and leverage of existing under-utilised capital and funding sources
    6. Re-direct capital funding based on areas that act as economic engines
    7. Engage the private sector in using a framework that better allocates risk and rewards for the effective delivery of infrastructure
    8. Develop and maintain socio-economic and financial report cards to enable identification of competitive advantages and changes in the economic environment at a local government level 

    What makes businesses start,
    grow and stay in Queensland?

    Surveying over 500 Queensland businesses, this new research report focuses on the key factors influencing the current and future decision-making of businesses choosing to remain located and invest in Queensland. 

    Six key recommendations were presented to the Queensland Government to consider including:

    1.  Promotion of a specific pro-business growth agenda and narrative, to encourage business activity and investment.

    2. Maintaining and promoting critical Queensland advantages of liveability and ease of travel to and from work.

    3. The State Government more actively promote Queensland’s low tax status, given we have one of the lowest payroll taxes and highest thresholds in Australia.

    4.  The State Government maintain its investment in assisting start-up businesses in Queensland and consider new ways to reduce barriers to access Government. This will capitalise on the finding that if a business starts in Queensland it tends to stay in Queensland.

    5. The State Government establish an investment fund, with appropriate criteria, to help existing successful businesses expand in Queensland, as a relatively low-risk way of creating jobs.

    6. The State Government and business community focus on improving training programs and activities to increase the availability of skilled workers given the importance of this factor in business decisions to operate or expand in Queensland.

    Launched April, 2020

    For any queries, please contact Steve Greenwood on steve.greenwood@qldfutures.com.au or 0488 721 156

    Opportunities for Growth

    Driving forces creating economic opportunities for Queensland companies over the coming decade

    Exploring the driving forces that are shaping Queensland’s economy, this report examines opportunities to leverage the state’s competitive advantages, diversify traditional industries, and create new sectors that meet emerging global demand, while also flagging the potential for missed opportunities. Its findings aim to provide a narrative for Queensland’s new economy and inform future strategic, business and policy decisions.

    It identifies five Opportunities for Growth for Queensland:

    1. An increasingly differentiated investment package
    2. A growing natural advantage
    3. An ‘advanced’ advanced services sector economy
    4. Queensland’s got what future Asia wants
    5. Using digital technologies to transform old into new

    in progress

    Driving queENSLAND productivity through property tax reform

    The next 12 months represents a crucial opportunity for discussion about the right taxes to have in Queensland that will assist in both an economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as provide significant long-term economic gains. QFI’s recent report ‘What Makes Businesses Start, Grow and Stay in Queensland?’ found taxes, including stamp duty, have the greatest negative impact on business.

    Replacing stamp duties with broader land taxes is at the top of any list and could potentially produce a big economic payoff while also improving housing affordability. Stamp duties are among the most inefficient and inequitable taxes available to the states and territories. In contrast, property taxes – which are levied on the value of property holdings – are the most efficient.
    Property taxes are also likely a more sustainable revenue source for the Queensland Government than stamp duties over the longer term as property values are likely to keep rising and revenues from property taxes tend to be less volatile than stamp duties on property sales.
    Despite the obvious benefits, only one Australian government, the ACT, has made the move from stamp duties to a broad-based property tax. Property taxes are often unpopular precisely because they are highly visible and difficult to avoid. However both the NSW and Victorian Governments are now also actively pursuing this policy initiative.
    The right design for a property tax to replace stamp duty is key and can help overcome the political difficulties. To further explore the potential benefits of this promising tax reform the QFI report ‘Driving Queensland Productivity through Property Tax Reform’ will analyse and model the impacts of various transition options from duty on property transfers to a broader land tax system.
    Notwithstanding the substantial benefits, the biggest obstacle to reform is the transition and community support. Of crucial importance will be effective engagement and obtaining the support of key industry organisations, unions and community groups on this important policy initiative.


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